Shariah compliant dress codes for private sector? — Ng Chok Sin

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AUGUST 7 — While the PH government claims that the country is so heavily in debt that it could not make good on at least half of their 100-day promises, it somehow manages to muster enough resources for a bunch of religion-politicians to squander on their compulsive needs to dictate how a woman should dress.

Yesterday Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic Affairs-cum-Amanah MP, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, announced that the government is putting together “guidelines” to impose Shariah-compliant dress code on the private sector.

The minister should properly define what exactly he means by these “guidelines are not the law.” Are these guidelines more like suggestions, subtle pressures or pseudo laws with genuine penalties?

Are the companies or workers who have chosen not to follow these “dress code guidelines” for the reasons of practicalities, feasibilities or cost and income effectiveness to be discriminated or subtly persecuted against to ensure conformity e.g. unexpected extra visits from the taxman or health inspectors?

Religion & politics: Two things that create a polarisation effect when mixed together

The PH government has polarised Malaysians enough as it is; with the Bumiputera-only open tender system, the five-year recognition study on the UEC, the new Khazanah Nasional racial agendas and the flat out refusal to help outstanding non-Muslim students get into public universities.

Now, is the private sector going to be polarised with the branding of Shariah and non-Shariah compliance too?

Amanah in federal power now, after lying low and pretending to be the representative of progressive religious politics, has finally reared its ugly head and revealed itself to be PAS 2.0. Last week, a PAS lawmaker had voiced how uniform of Malaysian-based airlines had offended his sensibilities. Now, Amanah’s Datuk Mujahid is rushing to impose a dress code to protect their eyes from “dijolok.”

Stop using religion as a political tool to stroke your own ego, to make yourself feel somewhat important and useful in the governmental administration.

Where are you now, DAP? Have you naught to say about this regressive infliction on the private sector? Transport Minister Anthony Loke, your political allies clearly disagree with your pointer that a man should simply avert his gaze if a professional’s uniform makes him uncomfortable.

The private sector is called “private” for a reason. It is the part of the national economy where enterprise, innovations and profits are prioritised, and is not under direct state control and should be free of religious meddling.

Equally worrisome is the infiltration of religious-based policies under the guise of working with the Human Resource Ministry to draft Shariah compliant work place guidelines. Not only are businesses stifled but such guidelines can lead to gradual imposition of one set of religious dogmas unto others who do not share the same faith.

MCA has always been and is firmly against mixing religion and politics. We will not stand idly in the sidelines and let a person’s religious belief get into the way of sound decision-making, especially when it impacts the entire nation.

* Datuk Ng Chok Sin is MCA's Religious Harmony Bureau deputy chairman and Selangor State Liaison Committee secretary.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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