Rafidah criticises dress code enforcement, advocates focus on people’s well-being

FORMER international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz criticised the enforcement of dress codes by government departments, emphasising the need for policies that enhance people’s standards of living instead of regulating attire.

“When rules and directives border on moral policing based purely on subjective evaluations and opinions, then there will be that to-be-expected negative fractiousness and dissent. And the debates will continue as more government departments decide to play moral police.

“Needless to say, the inclination to impose head-to-toe rules on attire does not contribute to social harmony,” news portal Malaysiakini quoted her as saying.

Emphasising the importance of public governance, Rafidah urged authorities to focus on matters benefiting the people and building a united Malaysia. She discouraged the imposition of absurd rules, especially those burdening the most vulnerable.

“There is so much serious work to be done, to ensure that our young can compete successfully with their global peers and for socioeconomic policies to be implemented to enable Malaysia to level up to global benchmarks.

“We cannot afford to be burdened by trivialities and irrelevant things, which only detract from the serious matter of public governance,” she further added.

Moreover, the criticism follows recent incidents where individuals were subjected to dress code restrictions, including a man asked to wear a sarong at the Kuala Selangor Municipal Council and a 72-year-old barred from visiting a hospital due to wearing shorts.

Earlier on Dec 8, it was also reported that police gave the victim of a car break-in the runaround for turning up in shorts when lodging a police report.

Furthermore, Rafidah cautioned against wasting time and resources on trivialities, urging a focus on substantive public governance issues.

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