KUCHING: The Education Ministry’s dress code for schools does not say that non-Muslims cannot wear the baju kurung, according to Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
Fatimah, who holds a watching brief on education matters in the state, said the dress code spelt out that students should wear a uniform of either a pinafore to a certain length or baju kurung.
“It doesn’t touch on religion. There is nothing in the dress code saying that non-Muslims are not allowed to wear baju kurung,” she told reporters when asked to comment on news reports of a Form Three student of a school in Cheras being told to wear a pinafore instead of a baju kurung as she was non-Muslim.
The girl, who is a Lun Bawang from Sarawak, was reportedly sent home for not complying with the school’s ruling that only Muslim students could wear the baju kurung.
“I think this is peculiar to the administration of the school. But throughout Malaysia, especially in Sarawak, this has never been an issue,” Fatimah said, adding that she believed the Education Ministry would look into the matter.
Meanwhile, Batang Lupar PKR chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh called on the ministry to investigate the incident thoroughly and take action against the school authorities involved.
He also urged the government to take steps to prevent such incidents from occurring again.
“We are saddened to hear that a Sarawakian students was not allowed to attend class because she wore the baju kurung. What is wrong with wearing the baju kurung? Isn’t it our national costume?” he said in a statement.
He added that the school’s action had not only disappointed the student but also the public, especially those in Sarawak.