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LETTER | Let's normalise inclusivity as part of decent behaviour

LETTER | Recently, a controversy regarding the dress code for non-Muslims have caused an uproar among netizens when a woman in Johor Baru was denied entry into a government facility by a security guard who considered her outfit to be “inappropriate” despite her modest dressing.

As a rational thinker and also the current state assemblyperson of Bukit Batu, I do have my thoughts and views in regard to this issue.

I believe that taxpayers in Malaysia have a right to freedom of expression especially when it comes to their dressing as we are living in a diverse community. Denying government services due to ridiculous dress code guidelines is simply unfair to members of the public who are dealing with government departments and agencies.

For example, in countries like Belgium and China, there are dress codes that forbid the wearing of headscarves in their countries and it is oppression against Muslims due to their religious requirements.

I strongly stand against those repressions as I believe an acknowledged taxpayer of a sovereign state has the right to access government services without any sort of discrimination, including that of a religious nature.

Being a people’s representative, I am strongly against all sorts of discrimination, regardless of any aspect, and denying government services due to an alleged failure to adhere to the dress code is a form of discrimination.

We live in a multicultural country with multiple religions and traditions, there shouldn’t be any sort of dressing requirement imposed upon the public in government facilities.

To resolve the issue, I suggest that the government make dress codes clearer to the public. It reflects on our global image, so let’s not be a laughing stock to other countries.


ARTHUR CHIONG SEN SERN is Bukit Batu assemblyperson in Johor.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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