theSun | MONDAY JULY 23 2007
news without borders
on dress code
DEPUTY Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong
Tee Keat says he is looking into complaints by
a group of non-Muslim students alleging that
Universiti Utara Malaysia has enforced a new by Kong See Hoh
dress code that curbed the freedom of their email@example.com
choice of dressing.
A UUM student emailed China Press that apart
“I am looking into the matter seriously. I am
from the new dress code, the university has banned
waiting for an explanation from UUM,” he told
students from bringing camera phones to the cam-
reporters who asked him to comment at a
function in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
UUM publicity chief Mohd Zaini told Nanyang Siang
“I want to be clear about the UUM dress
Pau there was some misunderstanding over the dress
code. If it does not apply to non-Muslims, UUM
code because of a technicality.
should make it very clear to the students.
“In fact, the clothes allowed (as shown in the dress
“UUM has denied (imposing the dress code
code poster) was to include long-sleeves shirt and long
on non-Muslims), but I want to know if the
pants,” he said.
dress code has specified that it does not apply
“Because of the technicality, there was an error in
to non-Muslims as claimed by the university.”
the dress code for the new semester. The university
Ong said public universities have the right
did not force Chinese or Indian students to wear baju
to impose their own dress code but if it is for-
kurung in campus.”
mulated based on the teachings and beliefs of
On the long pants and shirt with elbow-length
a certain religion and imposed on students
sleeves being flagged on the poster as inappropriate
with other religious beliefs, “these students
for female students, Mohd Zaini explained that only
can complain to the ministry”.
tight-fitting long pants, along with short skirts, are dis-
The Chinese press reported that the dress
code requires male students to wear long
He said the new dress code, which is nothing much
pants with long-sleeves shirts and tie, and
different from the old one, was to perk up the
female students to don the baju kurung or coat
with long skirt.
It was learnt that certain lecturers wanted
the dress code strictly observed, allowing only
students who dressed accordingly into the lec-
A student who blogged under the name
“Xiao Hai Zhi” (small boy in Chinese) claimed
UUM has set up disciplinary committees in
dormitories to keep tabs on the students’
Offenders would be fined between RM30
and RM200, he said in his blog.
It was reported that because the new dress
code was not posted on UUM’s web site when
it was introduced on July 7, many senior
students faced the wrath of their lecturers for
“inappropriate” dressing when they reported
for the new semester.
On the other hand, few freshies had flouted
the rules as they were already briefed what to
wear, during the orientation.