Modernising uniforms: Time to embrace change for PDRM attire

IMAGINE wearing a long-sleeved shirt, a coat and a tie in a hot tropical climate.

Even wearing the same attire in the office can be a little daunting, although it may boost the ego for some with the hangover from colonial days. Then, these same people would complain that the air conditioning has to be adjusted lower than 25°C, which means higher electricity bills. It simply does not make sense.

Tell this to any Westerner, they will laugh at the civil servant mentality inherited from colonial days when someone wearing the coat is always the ‘boss’. They wear coat to the supermarket during winter just to keep themselves warm.

The Malaysian culture has to change. For this, at least the Madani government has plucked up enough courage to change the old culture to one that is more modern.

This stemmed from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s own personal attire where he would often appear in his favourite purple batik shirt. Even if he wears a coat for a very official function, he is often seen without a tie.

From now on, the moment one enters a government office, it may be a more colourful place featuring Malaysian batik with its diverse designs.

However, taking it further, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has suggested that it is probably time to look at the uniform of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).

(Photo credit: Cilisos)

Citing the example of Singapore, which has redesigned its police uniform based on advice from the Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer (OCSTO), Lim said that they are now using a new fabric that allows efficient moisture absorption from the body.

According to him, it is dries faster. This will also allow them to cope better with heat and humidity. The uniform must be designed to suit our local weather conditions in order to increase the comfort level of PDRM.

It is also learned that in Japan, the police uniform now uses lightweight fabric that is suitable for hot climates.

“Although we do not know about the material used for Malaysia’s police uniform, we see that our police uniform has the highest number of metal badges (anything from alloys such as brass to copper and zinc badges) on their uniform.

“There are also metal badges on their hats, while their counterparts in Singapore and Japan use only embroidered badges,” added Lim.

“In Japan and Singapore, they only use plastic buttons which are more practical and probably cheaper.”

Although worldwide, the police have adopted navy blue as their standard colour, the colour of the uniform also plays an important role. In the US, black is used as a symbol of authority. Malaysia adopted the change of uniform on Jan 17, 1994, when its light blue uniform worn along with khaki or brown pants was changed to dark navy blue shirts worn along with dark navy blue cargo pants.

(Photo credit: Facebook)


By 2024, this uniform will have reached its 30th birthday. A lighter-coloured uniform made from lighter material may be more practical for the tropical climate.

In Japan, the police wear their summer uniform which is the lightest colour of greyish blue.

“We should perhaps choose a special blue colour for the uniform, which attracts the least heat,” suggested the DAP central committee member.  – Aug 25, 2023


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