MAHB says KLIA dress code only for official visitors, not passengers

Blogger and businessman Wilson Ng was prevented from entering the KLIA Baggage Services Lost and Found office because he was wearing knee-length shorts. — Picture courtesy of placesandfoods.com
Blogger and businessman Wilson Ng was prevented from entering the KLIA Baggage Services Lost and Found office because he was wearing knee-length shorts. — Picture courtesy of placesandfoods.com

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) today blamed “miscommunication” for an incident in which a passenger was prevented from retrieving his luggage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport because he had worn knee-length shorts.

Responding to Malay Mail Online’s query on the latest dress code controversy, MAHB clarified that there are rules on attire being enforced at KLIA but these were not meant for passengers.

“We have investigated the matter and found that it was a miscommunication on the implementation of a policy pertaining to the issuance of visitor passes at our airports.

“First and foremost, the dress code applies for public requesting for visitor passes to enter the terminal for any official visits or work purposes. However, the dress code does not apply to passengers passing through our airports,” MAHB said in a statement.

The firm explained that the mix-up occurred when the complainant, blogger and businessman Wilson Ng, applied for a visitor pass in order to re-enter the terminal to retrieve his luggage from the lost-and-found section.

MAHB also issued an apology to Ng.

Earlier today, the Malay Mail Online reported Ng as claiming that he was forced to don long trousers to enter KLIA’s Baggage Services Lost and Found section after airport security told him his knee-length shorts were inappropriate.

Ng said the incident took place on May 7 after his family’s return from a holiday in Taipei and questioned the intent and purpose behind such a dress code at a place where tourists fly in and out daily wearing all kinds of clothing.

Ng, inspired by the numerous reports on similar dress code incidents that have gone viral online, decided to chronicle his experience yesterday in a post on his blog “Places and Food”.

In the post, Ng explained that he was dressed casually in shorts when he went to the airport to reclaim his luggage because he was on leave from work that day.

He related that he was able to register at the airport’s security centre for the necessary clearance and verification of his luggage without issue.

However, he was suddenly stopped by airport security just before entering the baggage retrieval room, and told to return home and change his attire.

According to Ng, he was told his knee-length shorts were in violation of the dress code imposed on visitors for entry into the Baggage Services Lost and Found section of KLIA.

This is the fifth report of such an incident in recent weeks and the first to involve a man.

In the previous incidents, several women claimed they had to wear sarongs, and even a towel, to cover up their legs after they were told at a number of government departments that they were dressed indecently.