Fashion police weakness | Star

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Fashion faux pas?: Leni Fernandez, 43, was barred from entering the Wisma Perusahaan in Johor Baru after a security guard deemed the dress she was wearing in this photo was 'inappropriate'.  – Image providedFashion faux pas?: Leni Fernandez, 43, was barred from entering the Wisma Perusahaan in Johor Baru after a security guard deemed the dress she was wearing in this photo was ‘inappropriate’. – Image provided

HERE we go again – other modestly dressed women are prohibited from entering government buildings.

Without a doubt, government buildings, including police stations, have a dress code. This rule applies not only to women but also to men, who are prohibited from entering if they are wearing shorts or a singlet. But what fuels the ire in most cases is the length of time, pardon the pun, security guards leave to do their job.

Their interpretations are in some cases so extreme that Malaysians can be forgiven for thinking PAS has taken over the running of the Federal Government with such Taliban-style enforcement.

Many of these women don’t even wear miniskirts or shorts, but these security guards, or members of Rela in some cases, have been entrusted with the moral police, or “fashion police” in this case.

In many cases, such guards even give visitors sarongs to cover their feet. Many obediently obey these instructions because they simply want to continue with their work.

Last week, another similar controversy emerged. A woman is barred from entering the Wisma Perusahaan, a federal government building in Johor Baru.

Lawyer Norman Fernandez claimed that his wife Leni was refused entry into the building for wearing inappropriate clothing as determined by the guard on duty.

Fernandez claimed that his wife, who has been visiting the government building cafe to eat for the past few years, wore a skirt that was about 7cm below her knees and wore closed-toe shoes.

He reportedly said guards insisted that non-Muslims wishing to enter the building should wear ankle-length clothing, or long pants. Fernandez said their requests to speak to the superior security guard were not listened to because no one appeared to provide an explanation even after waiting an hour.

Malaysians who saw Leni’s clothes from the picture must have immediately raised their hands in disbelief because it cannot be interpreted as provocative or open, as claimed by the guard.

Seriously, guards need help from various professionals. What kind of arbitrary and arbitrary decision is that? What did he see or imagine that most of us normal Malaysians cannot?

What is troubling and troubling is that there is no response from the employer of the guards.

The deafening silence of the management gave the impression of supporting the guard’s actions.

Choosing not to respond is certainly not an option. The Wisma Guild management needs to investigate and disclose to the public if indeed female visitors to the building are required to wear clothing that reaches their ankles, or if it is a separate incident due to an independent decision by the guards.

For many of us, this is yet another case of overzealous enforcement turning to upholding one’s morals and imposing one’s values ​​on others instead of guards ensuring the safety of building staff and visitors, as Johor MCA chairman aptly puts it. Wong You Fong woman.

“We are increasingly disturbed that security personnel from any building management with a wise mind could exploit such ‘enforcement powers’ to legitimize duping the bodies of women or even men on the pretext of discriminating clothing, which they find provocative or not,” he said. in a statement.

He added that female visitors who wish to enter government buildings wearing modest and modest attire, not shorts and sleeveless tops, should not be denied entry.

“Especially in times of emergency, moral enforcement of the clothes worn will cause discomfort or can even make the difference between life and death,” the statement said.

I believe that most of our government officials have more important and urgent work to complete than fuss over visitors’ clothes, unless they are redundant individuals.

Some common sense needs to be exercised especially in police stations. Of course in an emergency, one cannot be expected to change clothes, before heading to the police station, for example.

I would like to believe that most civil servants are dedicated and hardworking, but sadly, recent incidents have cast a bad light on the Guild House in the south.

If it was just a bad judgment from a lone security guard, he should have been reprimanded by the higher-ups for failing to exercise discretionary power properly.

Let’s not avoid this problem but be rational.

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