Ipoh City Council to issue new dress code after confusion over 'cover up' ruling

A poster showing the dress code implemented by the Ipoh City Council. — Picture by Melissa Chi
A poster showing the dress code implemented by the Ipoh City Council. — Picture by Melissa Chi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Confusion over a vague ruling instructing visitors to wear clothes fully covering all their appendages has compelled the Ipoh City Council to issue a new dress code with clearer guidelines.

Special officer to the Ipoh mayor, Mohd Syahrizal Azmi, told Malay Mail Online that his office is currently drawing up a “proper” dress code to clarify existing guidelines, but added that it will suffice if visitors simply dressed appropriately when seeking to enter the council’s office.

The city council’s current dress code currently depicts long-sleeved shirts and pants for men and traditional outfits for women as approved attire.

This sparked arguments online, with Malaysian Internet users questioning the regulation that suggests that only such attire is allowed.

“That is merely a reminder to dress properly but does not explain things fully. There are three things that one must remember: no slippers, sleeveless tops and super short skirts,” Syahrizal explained, adding that skirts must not end above the knee.

“If it’s benda biasa (normal attire), we allow. Only when it is benda pelik (weird) that gets everyone’s heads turning, that we will step in,” he said.

The Malay Mail Online was made to understand that the new dress code ruling came into force about three months ago.

Earlier today, news portal The Star Online reported that a woman was not allowed to enter the Ipoh City Council building for wearing a sleeveless collared blouse and jeans.

The 32-year-old logistician, who was seeking to apply for a business licence, was later allowed to enter after donning a jacket belonging to her friend who was with her.

The incident was among a series of other reported cases in which members of the public were denied entry into government buildings and offices for dress code violations.

Incidents were recorded at a Road Transport Department (RTD) office in Kuala Lumpur, a Penang courthouse, the Selangor state secretariat, the Sungai Buloh public hospital, and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, among others.

Some cases involved women being given sarongs by security personnel to cover their legs in order to comply with the dress code and gain entry into the buildings.