INCREDIBLE but true for it has taken 139 years for women to finally be able to enjoy a tipple at the Royal Selangor Club’s (RSC) Long Bar.
An archaic rule introduced by the British from centuries gone by had been allowed to stand until an unanimous vote at the club’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Sunday (Oct 22) finally lifted the ban on women.
For the uninitiated, the RSC was established in 1884 by the colonial British while the rule barring women from entering the bar was reflective of the times when gentlemen’s clubs were prevalent.
It is however astounding to see that such an outdated and downright sexist rule was allowed to stand for over a hundred years. This is especially surprising considering that the RSC’s members consists primarily of professionals with many from the legal fraternity.
It is indeed, surprising that no one saw fit to point out that this rule was not only antiquated and quite possibly illegal but reflected poorly on the RSC and its members.
According to New Straits Times, the no-women rule has been temporarily lifted on several occasions in the past such as on New Year’s Day and the 1998 World Hash Run.
Nevertheless, until the amendment is approved by the Registrar of Societies, the Long Bar will still be inaccessible to women.
A couple of RSC members shared their thoughts n Facebook, with Lorela Chia noting: “There is triumph, of course, that’s 139 years late! But it’s also a reminder that despite the many achievements of many of us, the quest for equality and equitability continues.”
Another RSC member Ramesh Rajaratnam also said the vote was made with an overwhelming majority but noted there was “some dissent”.
Perhaps the dissenters should be publicly named and shamed for being dinosaurs in wanting rules that clearly violate principles of gender equality to remain in place.
In the meantime, enjoy your drink, ladies. – Oct 24, 2023
Main pic credit: RSC general committee via Sccop.my