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Tuesday December 5, 2006

MPKB: Cover up or else


KOTA BARU: Women working in retail outlets and restaurants in Kelantan have been warned to mind their dressing or be prepared to face a fine. 

The Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) has announced that it would “no longer tolerate indecent dressing” by women, both Muslim and non-Muslim.  

Public relations officer Mohd Azman Daham said that under local council by-laws women who “dressed sexily or indecently” could be fined up to RM500. 

“Such outfits are prohibited here as it smears the reputation of Kota Baru and affects its status as an Islamic City,” he said in an interview. 

He added that although punishment for indecent dressing was in place under the by-laws, it had not been totally enforced. 

“But now, MPKB will no longer tolerate skimpy outfits, following mounting complaints from the public,” Mohd Azman said, adding that under the by-laws, women working in retail outlets should wear decent clothes.  

Council enforcement officers, he added, would step up checks in various localities.  

Mohd Azman said MPKB would focus on “suspicious areas”, especially the shopping malls in Taman Hijau, Taman Uda and Taman Tengku Anis here.  

The council had received complaints from ratepayers that certain shop assistants and waitresses here donned sexy outfits, supposedly to woo more male customers. 

Under the standard dress code here, a Muslim women has to be covered until the ankles and wear a tudung. Non-Muslim women are required to wear decent clothes. 

Tight-fitting tops and pants were not allowed, even for non-Muslims, Mohd Azman said. 

Mohd Azman said under the council by-laws, the owners of retail outlets who employed indecently dressed workers could also be fined.  

If the offence was repeated, the council could suspend the business permit of the outlet, he added. 

State Local Government Committee chairman Takiyuddin Hassan said the state had not taken any tough action yet as, the MPKB had been more involved in generating awareness about proper attire.  

“We define proper attire as wearing respectful clothing,” he said.  

“We apologise to non-Muslims if this comes across as harsh but we must respect our Asian culture and religion in public.” 

He noted that “eye-popping” outfits invited undesirable attention.  

He urged the people to co-operate, especially those in the retail and restaurant businesses. 

Trader Che Suraya Hulaimi Sulaiman, 32, supported the council's move, saying: “Almost everywhere there are retail assistants or waitresses wearing sexy clothes. 

“This is an insult to Islam.”  

Related Stories:
Outrage over fine for ‘revealing clothes’
 

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