A CONSERVATIVE state in north-east Malaysia will impose a new mandatory ruling which compels female front counter workers to observe a strict Islamic dress code.
The new directive obliges Muslim women working at fast-food outlets and hypermarkets in Kelantan to wear long-sleeved uniforms that do not reveal their ‘aurat’, or parts of the body that must not be exposed in accordance to religious teachings.
The New Straits Times reported the ruling is slated to take effect next year.
Abdul Fattah Mahmood, the state’s Local Government, Housing, Youth and Sports Committee chairman said the ruling did not apply to non-Muslim staff although, they were advised to wear ‘decent’ clothes.
Business operators were informed of the ruling during a recent meeting with the state government.
“We want them to plan a proper uniform for Muslim workers and they have agreed in principle to our proposal,” he was quoted as saying.
“The ruling is a must for Muslim women workers, but non-Muslims are encouraged to wear proper clothes.”
Kelantan is a conservative state ruled by PAS, an Islamist party which is pushing for a parliamentary bill to introduce Shariah law with the strict ‘Hudud’ penal code in the state.
Fattah said the ruling would only be imposed in the state, adding he hoped outsiders would not be critical of the proposal.
“We want outsiders to recognize Kelantan as a state with a difference. The ruling will bring a good image for business operators and, at the same time, it can promote the tourism industry in the state,” he said.