kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Educate, not legislate

I HAVE been following the recent furore about decent dressing (or the lack of it) and the overzealous security guards trying to impose the dress code at public offices.

I suggest that the debaters on both sides of the divide take a cold shower and apply some common sense.

As they say, it takes two to tango. While we scream murder at the security guards for doing their job, have we paused for a moment to take stock of our dress sense? Dress sense is one’s right.

It depends on their personal taste, the environment they are in and the occasion they are attending. We can’t legislate for any of these, short of being called a nanny state.

The habit of sensible dressing has to come from within. It has to be cultivated from young by our elders. Our parents are good role models for this. One doesn’t go to places of worship in their pyjamas.

Likewise, one chooses carefully what to wear when attending a funeral. In many cultures, black dress is a definite no-no at weddings or wedding receptions and generally, all guests conform to this.

An office worker will not turn up in a plumbers’ jumpsuit, nor will a lifeguard be in a three-piece suit. In short, all should dress sensibly.

In my recent visits to government agencies like the National Registration Department and Inland Revenue Department, I have seen people dressed as if they are out for a picnic at the beach or at the wholesale wet market.

This is not confined to any particular age group or gender. Have we, as a society, lost our common sense to dress appropriately?

This problem cannot be overcome by strict enforcement of dress code, which in itself is also very subjective. Take the case of the airport, for instance.

Passengers use clothing that they are comfortable to travel in. It would be foolish to expect people turning up at the Lost and Found counter at the airport to be adhering to a dress code, which they might not be aware of.

Malaysian society needs to take control of this debate. We can fix this problem, not by employing or empowering security guards, but by influencing the small minority to think rationally and dress sensibly.

One swallow does not make a summer. Let’s be rational and not resort to using force but rather, tackle this issue through more civic education, particularly on dressing. Karunanithi Rangasamy, Sydney, Australia The NST Letters to the Editor 29 June 2015
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.