Rescind the ‘songkok’ rule and respect those who don’t feel comfortable to wear it — Ravinder Singh

The state should be proud to show multi culturalism at state functions by encouraging people to wear their traditional dresses which are so beautiful, so colourful.

Ravinder Singh is Vice Chairman, Parti Rakyat Malaysia

The enforcement of a directive issued by the state secretary Datuk Sayuthi Bakar that every male attending official state functions must wear a songkok is a very subtle way of introducing an Islamic dress code on non-Muslims. This is because the “songkok” is indisputably a head gear associated with religion as Muslims wear it when attending prayers or other religious functions.

Wearing headgear at official functions has not been an issue in the past and for sure everyone attending official functions was properly dressed for the occasion.

What is the logic for wanting everyone in the official functions to look alike as if there were no people of other faiths and cultures in the audience?

This is a nation that on the one hand we tell the whole world about as a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures, and advertise it as such to attract tourists. Why are we then ashamed to show the same at official functions?

We strongly object to the State Secretary’s stance that every male attending official functions must be made to conform to an Islamic dress code by the wearing of the “songkok” which is a dress symbol of Islam. He cannot use his official position to impose his personal religious etiquette on non-Muslims.

We call on the Chief Minister to nip in the bud the subtle creeping in of Islamisation into the state administration.

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