Hijab ban for Muslim frontline hotel staff a form of discrimination – Nazri
KUALA LUMPUR: The hijab ban for Muslim women working at the frontline of hotels, as practised by some hotel chains in this country, is a form of discrimination, disrespectful, irresponsible, and a violation of the Federal Constitution.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said yesterday, every country has its constitution and law and any activity undertaken cannot contravene the constitution of that country.
“The hijab ban is a form of discrimination because the Federal Constitution clearly states that there can be no discrimination on any ground, whether religion, race, language or others,” he told reporters after the pre-launch ceremony of Kuala Lumpur International Craft Festival (KLICF) 2017 at parliament building, here.
The remarks were in response to a statement by Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chairman Samuel Cheah Swee Hee that the hijab ban is a policy practised by international hotel chains that use the same Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for their uniforms worldwide.
“I do not think international companies have SOPs that prohibit a person using a hood. I do not believe that the reason given by MAH is incorrect.
“We know big companies (hotel chains) from the United States and Britain emphasise human rights. So if its their practice in their country, I do not think they use such conditions to operate hotels in other countries.”
Nazri said his ministry has yet to receive any complaints on the hijab ban adding there was no need to summon the MAH to give clarification on the matter.
“The ministry’s responsibility in the hospitality industry is only on rating, which is not based on the uniform but the facilities in the hotels.
“Licensing is the job of the local authorities and they must be firm by disallowing any hotel companies to use this condition to operate,” he added
KLICF 2017 will be held from Nov 23 to 26 at Dataran Putrajaya to provide an international business platform for craftsmen from within and outside the country.
Some 170 craftsmen from 35 countries including Argentina, Brunei, Cuba, Nepal, Maldives and Pakistan will participate in KLICF 2017 which carries the theme ‘Craft Unites People.’ Bernama