Letter to editor
PREVIOUSLY, it was the forced eviction of farmers in Kanthan, Tambun which is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (PMX) constituency.
Later, the Perak Menteri Besar’s office claimed that the eviction was carried out according to the law after the issue had dragged on for 11 years. The “illegal” farmers were given another piece of agricultural land in Changkat Kinding to carry out their activities.
Because Anwar is Tambun’s MP, he was blamed for not intervening with the eviction when the bottom line is that most people do not understand that land matters are under the state’s jurisdiction.
Whether this whole event was staged or otherwise, one can only tell when looking at the bigger picture of what is happening in the country.
A trend of great concern
In February this year, Free Malaysia Today reported that a 21-year-old woman was turned down by a medical assistant at Kampar Hospital emergency department when she sought treatment for menstrual cramps and high blood pressure.
The reason: she was wearing a pair of shorts. According to South China Morning Post, the then health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah merely said that the medical assistant would be reprimanded.
A month later in March, another woman was denied entry into the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (HTAA) by an overzealous security guard. Pahang health director Dr Nor Azimi Yunus was quick to point out that “there have been no problems for visitors who are dressed in such a way to enter during visiting hours, except for those not decently dressed”.
In Penang, a retired engineer Lim Thean Heng was denied entry into Seberang Jaya Hospital by a security guard after a morning jog when he went to visit his brother-in-law. According to The Star, he was “clad in a t-shirt, shorts that fell above his knees, and sports shoes”.
Back in Sept 2019, a woman had similarly been denied entry into the Immigration office to renew her passport. This was just one year after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the government.
The list can go on. Another woman was stopped by a police sentry in February this year from entering the police station to lodge a report on an accident.
And if age matters, this 60-year-old businesswoman should not have been barred from entering the lift at Pasir Gudang City Council in February this year. Her dress (below) was deemed too short!
If that is not enough, a memorandum to all staff issued by Berry’s Cake House has also created controversy. The circular was enough to kick up a fuss with many netizens urging others to boycott the bakery. Even the Sarawak premier Abang Johari Tun Openg described the entire affair as “ridiculous”.
With all these directives including the “Laundry for Muslims only” in Johor, it is no wonder why there is so much Islamophobia in the country. Politicians – not Islam – should take the brunt of public ridicule especially among non-Muslims these days, such as what is seen in this chat:
Incompetence and out-of-control moral policing
The Kuala Selangor Municipal Council sarong incident is no difference. The viralled video clip of a man asked to wear a sarong before being allowed into the premises of a local council is nothing new.
As usual, the council president Hanafe Basir had merely said that “the dress code for visitors has been in force for ages, and a copy of the code was also displayed at the entrance.”
At the frequency of such incidents happening during PH and now the Madani government, it is obvious to this writer that there are some Little Napoleons who are probably trying to create havoc in the country by distracting people from the real issues of the economy.
Like the case of the Tambun eviction which was probably targeting PMX’s reputation, what we are seeing today could very well be a concerted effort to overthrow the government of the day.
A netizen has commented recently his own observations that instead of focusing on more critical issues on the country’s economic growth, Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) lawmakers are bringing up proposals such as asking the government to promote polygamy or sending food and medical supplies to the war-torn zone of Gaza on planes.
It is not surprising that these dress code incidents carried out by security guards and lower ranking police sentries are done to embarrass and distract the government of the day from focusing on the more critical issues.
For this reason, one cannot help but agree with the elderly statesman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye who urged the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Zuki Ali to address the dress code issue once and for all. Zuki is directly responsible in all these matters.
Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad hit the nail on the head by saying he would focus on the more critical issues affecting public health than to focus on dress code matters. – Dec 19, 2023
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.