IPOH, May 20 — Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham today said action should be taken against government heads of departments who go overboard policing the outfits of customers who came to seek service.

Ngeh said he had received complaints that some government offices are setting dress code for the public in need of service before allowing them to the offices.

“A farmer in shorts and singlet or an Orang Asli in their traditional clothing or a poor person who has no means to buy a decent attire are entitled to be served by public servants.

“Similarly, I have received a complaint from a lawyer who was not allowed to enter an Education Department’s office for wearing a skirt — above the knee.

“There was also another complaint, where a television reporter was denied entry at a Road Transport Department’s office in Taiping for not following the dress code,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

The DAP MPs' spokesperson for Law and Parliament pointed out that heads of departments do not have power to make such rules.

“Cabinet ministers and government officers derived their powers from the laws passed by Parliament. Acts of Parliament often give powers to ministers to make subsidiary legislation or regulations.

“However, if a minister makes regulations outside the scope of powers (ultra vires) conferred by the Act of Parliament, such regulations are illegal and void. I know of no law, giving powers to government officers to prescribe the attire that must be worn by the public before service can be rendered to them,” he said.

He urged the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali to remind the heads of departments to focus on improving the poor performances of their respective departments instead of checking the dress code of customers.