Malaysia is a multi-cultural country. However, while Malaysia is an Islamic country, there are other religions living here as well. The dressing style in such a society differs according to people's culture, religion and, of course, their education level.
As everyone knows, the universities in every country play a key role in a new generation's training and this training has a direct impact on our youths' performance in society. We always expect educated people to have a better understanding of the behavior and actions in society.
It is true that training for a profession and preparing young people for their future are the most important of the universities' responsibilities. On the other hand, these responsibilities are not limited to the abovementioned factors.
Another important issue that universities are responsible for is to teach their students how to appear and behave in different situations, positions, conditions and occasions.
Students must learn the way to dress for different events. We expect all students to be aware of this issue since our universities are designed to train students in every field. But unfortunately, many universities are ignoring the importance of this issue.
One of the well-known universities in Malaysia (the Multimedia University in Cyberjaya) announced new rules recently about the students’ dressing and clothing. Students who wear sandals, short skirts, shorts and open and tight T-shirts are not allowed to enter the library any more. This is a good move and we have to congratulate the management of this university for considering this issue in training our future generations.
The students may be annoyed at first but I believe that it is a good practice for them to think more about their roles in society. For example, a businessman never wears swimwear when he is going to his office nor he will wear a suit and tie when he is going to the beach. Every occasion has its own dressing style and standards.
We should consider this an important point in our daily life. The way people dress for various occasions reinforces their personalities. Students are no exceptions. They have to understand that sandals, shorts and short skirts are not proper clothing for academic institutions.
However, most universities are not pushing their students to dress properly. Some students are mistaking their universities for parks, beaches and fashion shows. The whole point is that students, as adults, should learn the dressing standards for different occasions.
It would be a good idea for the universities to add a new course to teach students about the methods of behaving and appearing in different occasions, just like their other courses on public speaking or on research writing which are really good courses.
I believe the other Malaysian universities should follow this move. We must all step up efforts to make our society a better one.