Sarawak ministers in ‘dress down’ mode for years now

KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim may now be taking the lead in dressing less formally at work, but this has been the norm among some state ministers in Sarawak.

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian has long been known for dressing down, often wearing his trademark yellow shirt and jeans when attending events.

He has also been seen putting on a suit or shirt with no tie while chairing meetings or receiving courtesy calls at his office, even before Anwar became prime minister.

Since coming into power, the Pakatan Harapan chairman has displayed a relaxed style of dressing, appearing at government events in a suit without a tie.

According to a state minister, who asked not to be named, how they dress depends on the occasion.

“For proper occasions we will wear a tie to show respect. We have to see what is appropriate,” he said.

As such, state ministers will wear formal attire for occasions such as Cabinet meetings or state legislative assembly sessions.

This was clearly seen at a press conference following a state Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and other state ministers, including Dr Sim, wore full suits and ties for the occasion.

Yesterday, The Star reported that MPs would not be required to wear ties while in the Dewan Rakyat for a year from Feb 13.

The change in the formal dress code comes as newly minted Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul attempts to bring both procedural and physical reforms to the august hall.

“I will announce on Feb 13, the first day of the session, no necktie for the whole year,” he had said.

During the two-day special sitting on Dec 19, 2022, Johari made it optional for MPs to wear neckties during the next day’s sitting.

For the first time, many MPs, including Anwar, did not wear a necktie during the Dec 20 meeting.

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