Monday, March 27, 2006

Tudung for all policewomen

The Inspector General of Police of Malaysia sent out a directive that all female police personnel in Malaysia have to wear the head scarf (tudung) for all march-pass, passing out ceremonies and the national parade. This was met with very unfavourable response from the non muslim community, the loudest protests are from the oppositions, as usual. Then the IGP quickly clarified that it is only compulsory for muslim female police personnel, it is optional for non muslims.
Then the Prime Minister said that if tudung is part of the police uniform, then all policewomen should wear it regardless of religion backgrond.
So on the recent 199th police day parade we saw almost all the policewomen wore the scarves, except for a few non muslim policewomen. It will be interesting to see what will be the fate of these few who did not comply.
The question of whether should female workers who deal with the public, especially with foreign visitors wear the tudung while on duty is not a new one. Those in the service industries like hotels, tour operators, restaurants, entertainment sector as well as the media are against it for fear that the label of Malaysia being a radical muslim nation will stick. Those who are for it will argue that muslim women should be allowed to wear tudung in the workplace, otherwise it will be considered harassment of individual's religion.
But in the case of the policewomen wearing tudung in official parades has taken a new twist to the issue. What would the real radical muslims inMalaysia react when they learn that non muslim women are wearing the tudung which they consider the utmost suci (holy) n the public?
They will certainly take this as a very big insult to their religion.
My statement is not wihout any grounds. Remember not very long ago some non muslims trying to show their friendliness to their muslim colleagues by greeting them with the muslim phrase,"Assala maliakum", and the friends took offend thinking that the non muslim guys are mocking them. And this became a big issue. They insisted that only muslims are authorised to say such phrase. Only words itself created so much troubles, what more with the holy scarf ?
There is another point I wish to raise here. The Chinese youth have being accused by the government,the police department and UMNO politicians in the past that they are not patriotic because very few of them like to join the police force. And they are only interested in making money. Those who said this ought to have their brains checked or to be put through an IQ test designed specially for primary school students. Please be informed that NOT all Chinese youth are from rich families, don't look so surprised, it is an undeniable fact. They will gladly join the police force to enjoy the steady job with many not tracable side-incomes, if only you don't make it difficult for them to join and also not to create any deep unease like the case of tudung. Come on, Chinese are human too, they also do not like religion harassment. So the best way is to stay out, keep clear of all these unease.
Tell me honestly, do you think more Chinese youth will wish to join the police force after reading the IGP's new directive in the news?

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