MCA to Kelantan: Stop being obsessed over women’s dressing

MCA to Kelantan: Stop being obsessed over women’s dressing

PUCHONG:  The Kelantan government should stop being obsessed over how women in the state are dressed.

Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie said she was concerned over the Kelantan Islamic Affairs and Religious Department’s (JAHEAIK) recent move to slap summonses to 39 women in the state “for dressing sexily”.

“Clearly this move by JAHEAIK is misogynistic and discriminatory as it targets Muslim women and men.

“The state government should get its priorities right and focus on cleanliness, creating job opportunities and empower women in the political, economic and social spheres rather than being besotted over the length, looseness or tightness of a woman’s garment,” she said in a statement.  

On Monday, JAHEAIK issued summonses to 39 women in Kelantan for allegedly dressing indecently during Ramadan.

The women were also ordered to attend counselling sessions in stages as set by the religious department.

Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS) hurled brickbats at JAHEAIK recent action and called upon the latter to stop its moral policing attitude, saying it degrades and humiliates the value of a woman.

In support of SIS, Heng said the “modesty operations” and the directive to attend counselling sessions suggests a desire to control the mobility of women.

She added that the perception created was that women are promiscuous, immature, seductive, mentally, physically and spiritually dependent on authorities.

“The operations erroneously pin women as the cause of societal ills – a danger and an affront to society and thus, it needs to be curtailed,” said Heng.

While MCA respects JAHEAIK of wanting to protect the sanctity of Islam, Heng said the party is concerned over the possibility of misuse of power by the enforcement officers.

“We are concerned over the possibility of misuse of authority by enforcement officers to shame and harass women, and legitimise perverts under the guise of enforcement officers,” she said.

By G Vinod