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Civil Servants Now Free To Wear Batik Anytime, Compulsory On Thursdays

Civil Servants Now Free To Wear Batik Anytime, Compulsory On Thursdays

The decision to let civil servants wear batik freely throughout the week not only supports the local Batik industry but it also serves as a way to conserve energy efficiently.

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The cabinet meeting has agreed that all civil servants are granted the freedom to wear batik attire every day, and it’s compulsory on Thursdays, just as before.

This is to ensure that it remains a heritage and symbol of Malaysian identity.

The Public Service Department (JPA) said the rule was made effective on 21 August and is stated in the Service Circular on the Wearing of Malaysian Batik Attire During Working Hours for Federal Public Service Officers, signed by the Public Service Department director-general, Datuk Dr Zulkapli Mohamed.

The circular said the dress code applies to all civil servants except for officials provided with uniforms or attending official events with specific dress code regulations.

Nik Nazmi says batik will help with the heat

Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also announced that they made the decision to improve the batik industry, the country’s image as well as the government’s efforts in conserving energy.

In the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (EECA) he presented to the Cabinet on 2 August, in order to ensure energy efficiency, the temperature of government buildings should also be set between 24°C and 25°C.

The decisions made have taken into account the climate in this country and the Government’s commitment to achieving the aspiration of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as early as 2050 by reducing the carbon footprint from electricity usage practices.

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change

Hence, with the new effort to conserve electricity usage and along with Malaysia’s local weather, they hope the decision to let civil servants wear batik clothes freely throughout the week will make them comfortable at their workplace.

In addition, he also said that proposed changes to this dress code will also be extended to all Members of Parliament of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

But too many batiks are expensive too

While some may agree that it’ll uphold our national textile heritage up a higher notch, some people think that this will burden low-income people who already have enough trouble finding good quality batik.

Instead, they suggest the government give allowances for them to look for ready-made batik clothes or an allowance for tailor-made batiks. Some even suggest a subsidy on our own Malaysian batiks as most local crafts are quite expensive for mere locals to own.

So what do you think about this dress-code decision? Ready to flex those Malaysian batik outfits at work? Or do you think most people would just show up to work with Indonesia’s batik which are perceived to be way more affordable?

Quick test for you while we’re at it, which one do you think is Malaysian Batik and which one is Indonesian Batik?
(Credit: Leocadio Sebabtian/Flickr, Tanah Nusantara)

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