KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming has today asked the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) and PAS State government to retract compound issued to a non-Muslim woman for allegedly dressing inappropriately.

The minister said the decision made by the MPKB to fine the non-Muslim lady for wearing shorts in her own shop infringed her constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

The minister said that such freedoms should be respected in a multiracial society.

“This was a non-Muslim trader in her own shop and she was wearing shorts.

“These are fundamental rights and freedoms which are guaranteed in the Federal Constitution,” he told reporters in Cyberjaya today as reported in Malaysiakini.

On June 25, the woman — dressed in an oversized pink t-shirt covering her shorts — was fined under Section 34(2)(b) of MPKB’s Business and Industrial Trade By-Laws 2019.

The alleged offence read: “Pemilik bukan Islam berpakaian tidak sopan. Baju t-shirt dan berseluar pendek paras punggung” (Non-Muslim business owner dressed inappropriately in T-shirt and short shorts).

Section 34(2)(b) states that non-Muslims (business owners), must ensure that he and his non-Muslim employees wear decent clothes and if the employees are Muslim, they must wear clothes that cover their aurat (modesty).

However Nga said the local council should not be over eager to hand out fines.

In this situation, the minister said they should have discussed the matter with the woman, reprimand and educate her while also respecting that she is a non-Muslim.