KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10, 2015:
While urging employers to allow Muslim staff to dress as they want, a Muslim group also says that employees who care about such matters should work at organisations that encourage them to cover their aurat.
Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram) national council member Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj said that whatever the organisation, they should set regulations for a dress code and if the organisation does not urge its employees to dress modestly, employees should find one that does.
“The issue of covering one’s self at the work place, especially in hospitals, has been long existed and is old news.
“I feel that the issue will turn up from time to time. Previously, we (doctors) struggled to enter the operating theatre with approval to wear long-sleeved doctor coats.
“Moreover, there is no research stating that long-sleeved shirts have the tendency to spread infection to patients.
“There is only the obligation of the medical personnel to take care of their personal hygiene,” she said when contacted by The Rakyat Post.
Commenting on claims that a nurse at a private hospital in the Klang Valley was fired for wearing clothes covering her whole body while on duty, Dr Harlina Halizah said the dress code of an organisation, whether it be government or private institutions, must be obeyed, regardless of personal reasons.
“There are Muslims who are okay with a free dress code. But for those who apply the teachings in Islam (covering themselves), this can prove to be difficult.
“Matters such as this can be taken for discussion and should not have resulted in a disciplinary action causing in the dismissal just for wearing long- or short-sleeved shirts.
“However, if the organisation does not encourage women to cover themselves, why ask to be employed there?
“I think that the excuse given was wrong as it is old fashioned and those who are responsible must give new reasons.”
She added that the matter could be handled with a simple compromise reached between the parties involved.
Meanwhile, Sisters in Islam (SIS) executive director Ratna Osman said that the non-governmental organisation (NGO) did not want to make any statements until they had gained a clear picture of what had actually transpired.
“In the beginning, there were reports that the woman was fired for wearing long-sleeved clothing. Then came reports that she was dismissed for disciplinary problems.
“However, even doctors wear long-sleeved shirts. Why are nurses prohibited from doing so?” she asked, adding that SIS would be issuing a formal statement on the matter soon.
They were responding to a recent case where a nurse, Naziah Sauni Samat, 24, claimed that she was fired for defying the management’s orders for wearing long-sleeved clothing in a private hospital in the Klang Valley.
However, the hospital’s human resource manager had responded that Naziah was dismissed after she failed to turn up for work for two days in a row.