Ban­ning head­scarves is rude, ir­re­spon­si­ble, says Nazri

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz de­scribed the ac­tion of ho­tel chains pro­hibit­ing fe­male em­ploy­ees from wear­ing hi­jab, if it’s true, as “ku­rang ajar” (rude) and ir­re­spon­si­ble.

He said, ho­tel chains, es­pe­cially in­ter­na­tional ho­tel com­pa­nies should re­spect lo­cal cus­toms and laws when they en­ter the coun­try.

“It’s rude and ir­re­spon­si­ble. When you come to our coun­try, be re­spect­ful.

“We have ba­sic laws here, so if it’s true that this was an in­struc­tion or an SOP (stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures), it means that they have gone against our con­sti­tu­tion.

“This is a form of dis­crim­i­na­tion. Why did they come here and then set rules that women can’t wear hi­jab? What’s the prob­lem (with wear­ing hi­jab)? Is be­ing naked bet­ter than cov­er­ing one’s head?” he said at the De­wan Rakyat.

Nazri was com­ment­ing on re­ports about the pol­icy held by ho­tel chains pro­hibit­ing women em­ploy­ees from wear­ing head­scarves if they are work­ing as front­lin­ers or those who in­ter­act di­rectly with guests.

Re­cently, the Malaysian Labour Cen­tre of the Union Net­work In­ter­na­tional re­vealed that ho­tel em­ploy­ees had com­plained about the mat­ter and that it was also hap­pen­ing to hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism stu­dents ap­ply­ing for in­tern­ships.

Nazri said no re­ports had been re­ceived by the min­istry and that it was hard to be­lieve that in­ter­na­tional ho­tel chains had such a pol­icy.

“We know that big com­pa­nies like these came from the United States or the United Kingdom. Coun­tries like these al­ways em­pha­sise on equal­ity and hu­man rights.

“If this is the prac­tice in their coun­tries, I don’t ex­pect them to do so in their ho­tels that are op­er­ated in for­eign coun­tries,” Nazri added.

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