KUCHING , Feb 5 — The recent statement by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani insisting the public to follow government dress code at police stations is “flawed and irresponsible”, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
The Democratic Action Party lawmaker said it is the responsibility of the police force to serve the community, and not to “moral police the community” especially when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of the people.
“The recent statement by the IGP Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani that insisted that public must follow government dress code at police stations, except in ‘life or death’ emergencies is flawed and irresponsible as it is the utmost responsibility to serve all regardless of situation,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Yii said it must be the first assumption that all cases is an emergency, whether “life or death” when people walk into the police station.
He asserted that people should not be barred from entering police stations as no one would go to the police station to lodge reports unless they have to, as they need police assistance.
“It is not only in cases of life and death; it should not matter at all how a person is dressed in any situation. The police should not impose ‘perceived morality’ which may deny or hinder proper protection or even justice,” he said.
He wondered what message the police want to send to the people whom they are meant to protect.
Dr Yii also reminded the IGP of the fourth principle of Rukun Negara ‘Kedaulatan Undang-Undang’.
“When fact of the matter, it is the law of the country that it is not illegal to dress in certain ways as long as it does not expose and breach public indecency,” he said.
He said it is thus the responsibility of the police to uphold that very law of the country and not impose any other regulations at the police station that may hinder justice.
“The lady had to lodge a report because the law compels her to do so. This duty is required regardless of how she dresses. Thus, the police have to carry out their duty,” he added.
Given this, Dr Yii urged IGP to retract his statement and the ministry concerned to show leadership and give the needed assurance to the people that they will be served and protected regardless of any circumstances or how they dress.
He stressed that the police should really uphold their motto “Polis dan masyarakat berpisah tiada” and not “Polis dan masyarakat berpisah tiada, bergantung kepada cara pemakaian”.
Yesterday, Acryl Sani said police stations fell under the category of government offices, adding that the Chief Secretary to the Government had made clear the types of clothes that can and cannot be worn in a directive.
He insisted that the rules must be followed, and cited ‘kesopanan dan kesusilaan’ (courtesy and morality) the fifth principle of the Rukun Negara — as the basis.
A woman reportedly complained that she had been denied entry into a Selangor district police station over the length of her trousers.
She was said to have gone to Kajang police station to report an accident she had met only to be told by a policeman that she could not enter as her trousers were above her knees.