Security guards have no business interpreting dress codes, says Lee Lam Thye

Security guards have no business interpreting dress codes, says Lee Lam Thye
The Office of the Chief Secretary to the Government has been urged to revisit the issue of public dress codes at government departments to avoid further confusion on the matter. – NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

Security guards have no business interpreting dress codes, says Lee Lam Thye

KUALA LUMPUR: The Office of the Chief Secretary to the Government has been urged to revisit the issue of public dress codes at government departments to avoid further confusion on the matter.

Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye made such calls following a recent case in Johor Baru where a woman was turned away from a government department though her dress ended below her knee.

Of late, he said, the issue and debate surrounding dress codes at government departments has created confusion and to some extent, disgust, among the public particularly among the women.

“While it is necessary to have proper dress codes for certain places, occasions and events, these must be guidelines fully made known to the public and security personnel at all counters in public and private buildings.





“Some security guards at some government offices have been turning away women for wearing attire that they deemed improper and indecent.

“So, what attire is acceptable and what is not? Are there clear guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not? Have all security guards been clearly instructed by their supervisors as to the rules or guidelines?,” he said in a statement today.

Lee finds it unacceptable when dress codes are left to the interpretation of overzealous security guards similar to the case that occurred recently.

“They (security guards) have no business doing moral policing and interpreting what is decent or indecent attire,” he said.

Lee added that people have a right to dress freely as long as it does not constitute indecency when they visit certain departments for services.





“I am certain these visitors are sensible enough to be dressed decently to gain access to these buildings

“If their dressing is not deemed appropriate, they must be told politely to dress more appropriately the next time.

“They should not be turned away. Their needs must be attended to first. We should not prioritise dressing over service,” he said.

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Security guards have no business interpreting dress codes, says Lee Lam Thye


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