“Exercise plain common sense,” Wanita MCA tells PDRM on dress code controversy

THE Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) must exercise plain common sense especially when members of the public arrive at any police station to lodge a police report, said Wanita MCA national chairperson Wong You Fong.

She said there is clearly a sense of urgency and emergency when individuals file a police report as they seek the police’s assistance, services and intervention to investigate a matter and if necessary, to apprehend the perpetrator and deliver justice.

“While PDRM may expect the public to be decently attired when lodging reports for civil matters such as the death of a family member due to old age or prolonged ill health, common sense and discretion must prevail in times of emergency,” she said in a statement today (Feb 3).

Wong You Fong (Pic credit: The Star)

“If any victim is being pursued by triads or would-be abductors and rush to a police station for help, surely, the victim would not be expected to exit the police station and change into an outfit which conforms to the dress code.”

Wong stressed the same can be said for victims of domestic violence, rape, grievous assault or deliberate arson who could only rush to the nearest police station for help and protection.

“Would those victims be likewise expected to go home, take a shower and wash away all evidence, then clean and groom themselves before lodging a report at the police station?” she asked.

Wong was responding to a recent incident in which a woman who intended to file a police report following a car accident was refused entry into the Kajang police station due to her attire.

The woman wearing Bermuda shorts at the time, which she claimed covered her knees. However, Kajang police later insisted that the shorts were above her knees.

“Home Minister must look into the matter”

Wong further pointed to former inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan who, on Wednesday (Feb 1) told FMT that PDRM should not be “chasing” away those who want to lodge a report as it was their duty to help the public.

Tan Sri Musa Hassan (Pic credit: The Star)

The former top cop told the news portal that “If it is an emergency, it doesn’t matter what she wears. She is a victim, so the police have to allow her to make a report.”

“As a main feature of the unity government is inclusiveness and compassion, Wanita MCA urges Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to look into the matter and remind and instruct all police stations to accept any police reports lodged irrespective of garments worn,” Wong stressed.

“More confidence is gained with enforcement agencies when they become people-friendly/oriented guardians of security instead of moral policing.”

The women’s wing of MCA further urged PDRM to heed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s clarification in 2015 when as the then Minister in the PM’s Department, she said that there was no dress code for the public when dealing with government departments and agencies.

According to Azalina in a news report dated Nov 5, 2015, Putrajaya does not enforce dress codes on members of the public visiting government department and will entertain even those who are dressed “inappropriately”.

In a written reply to then Putatan MP Datuk Dr Makin Marcus Mojigoh, she said only civil servants are subjected to dress-code rulings and therefore, the public can wear attire that are suited to their culture and eastern values when dealing in government offices.

“However, the government will still extend its services to those who dress inappropriately,” she had said. – Feb 3, 2023


Main pic credit: Facebook / Polis Daerah Kajang

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