Another incident of dress codes at government agencies has occurred, just a little over a year after a federal minister said these should not be enforced on visitors.
The latest occurrence was at the Seremban Land and District Office last month, when former banker Jude Hazzim’s wife was allegedly confronted by security due to her attire.
Jude said she informed him that she was reprimanded over her sleeveless blouse and jeans, after which he went to confront the security personnel.
He said they then ignored the security personnel over the matter, and proceeded to the office to complete their transactions.
“We are just paying our rates, renewing our licences, paying our bills; we don’t have time to ‘dress up’ or rush back to dress up just because we are entering a council.
“It is petty mindedness, absurd and unacceptable to force us to comply as we have only want to pay the bill and do not wish to waste our time in the premises,” he told Malay Mail Online.
Jude said they were not refused service, however, and were able to pay their quit rent.
When contacted by Malay Mail Online, a spokesman from the office said she had no knowledge of the matter, but added that the department would take note of it.
When queried about Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s statement in 2015 that government agencies are not to enforce dress codes on visitors, the spokesman insisted that the rule remained in force at government offices.
“Definitely there is a dress code for those with matters at government departments. Even in State Secretariat offices, when you enter, there is a board there that says you can wear this and you cannot wear that,” she said.
She also said it was not appropriate for visitors to dress provocatively at government offices.
The spokesman then said her office was simply abiding by government regulations.
The controversy last emerged in 2015, with repeated cases of visitors who were either made to cover up or denied service at government offices and facilities due to inappropriate attire.
Following the controversy, Azalina said in Parliament that government agencies are not to enforce such dress codes or withhold service to those deemed inappropriately dressed.
Malay Mail Online has contacted Azalina for a clarification on the matter and is awaiting her reply.