The Malaysian Road Transport Department (JHJ) has issued a public apology after opposition parliamentarians questioned the need to make the middle-aged woman wear a “sarong” around her skirt in order to receive service at its department. Some parliamentarians asked if this incident meant that Malaysia would soon become a fundamentalist Muslim country.
The woman, Ms Suzanna G L Tan, had posted on social media to complain about her treatment at the JHJ, and attached pictures of herself dressed normally and with the sarong draped around her waist.
In the aftermath of the uproar in parliament, the JHJ later issued a public apology to Ms Tan and admitted it was not part of the department’s policy to provide such a garment to visitors.
“RTD would like to apologise to Ms Tan for the inconvenience caused,” the department said in a statement. “RTD would like to firmly state that there is no regulation that indicates visitors must be provided with a sarong. Clearly, this was an inconvenience to the visitor,” the department said on Twitter yesterday afternoon.
However, the JHJ maintained that it imposes a strict dress code on all visitors like all other Malaysian government departments, and cited the example that men should not wear shorts or pants that are too tight.