Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has ordered an investigation into the case of a lady who was forced to don a sarong before being served at the counter of an RTD office.
In a Facebook post today, Liow said the probe would commence immediately and action would taken against those responsible for making the women wear a sarong.
“I regret that this dress code issue has taken place. I have directed for an investigation to be conducted immediately and for action to be taken. There is no such thing as a sarong policy.
“We should not impose unnecessary dress code guidelines on the public. There is an immediate need to review the existing guidelines," said Liow ( photo ).
Yesterday, social media was set abuzz with account of the lady who was forced to wear a sarong by RTD staff when she entered their office for which the location she did not provide.
RTD guidelines apparently state state that men and women must be 'decently dressed' and that women should not wear skirts that are above the knee, or men sleeveless shirts.
According to her Facebook post, Suzanne GL Tan visited the RTD office to sign a transfer form for a car that she had sold.
Tan, dressed in a white-and-pink top and a red skirt said she was was given a sarong when she approached an RTD officer behind the queue counter.
She alleged she was told to wear the sarong or she would not be entertained.
Meanwhile, in a press statement released this afternoon, RTD, while acknowleding the exisitence of a dress code for its offices like for all government departments, said there was no such thing as a 'sarong policy'.
"RTD would firmly like to state that there is no regulation that indicates visitors must be provided with a sarong. Clearly, this is an inconveience to the visitor," said the statement.
"RTD would like to apologise to Ms Tan for the inconvenience caused," it added.
Not swimsuit or bikini
Tan posted three pictures, in which one was taken outside the premises before she wore the sarong, and an additional two pictures showing her walking to the counter and sitting behind the RTD counter desk.
In Parliament today, lawmakers from both sides of the fence expressed their disappointment at the existence of a dress code for RTD offices, forcing the middle-aged woman to wear a sarong in order to be served at the counters.
"She wasn't wearing a swimsuit or bikini. Why are we making it so particular?
"So in this issue, we want to ask the chief secretary to the government if this guideline is really from them? Or is it just racist or religion-based?" Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) asked the Dewan Rakyat during its session today.
Tiong ( photo ) said this in support of Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) who said JPJ's treatment of the woman, which went viral yesterday after she posted it, was over the top.
"This aunty is like any other we see on the roads, supermarkets, restaurants but she was not allowed to enter a government building.
"I feel this guideline is unreasonable so the government should review it," Liang said.
Liang then asked if Malaysia was becoming as conservative as Iran, where women's bodies were subject to a strict dress code.
"In Iran, women are not allowed to show their bodies so what is shown on television has been edited, modified. What is shown is a blacked-out area. Is this the direction we are heading in?" he asked.
Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Kulai, photo ) also supported Liang, pointing out that the traditional clothes of non-Malay cultures did not fit with the government guidelines.
"For most sarees, cheong sam and Punjabi suits, not all have sleeves or some have very short sleeves.
These are the traditional clothes of the non-Malays," Teo said, in seeking an explanation from the transport ministry on the matter.