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KL Mayor tells tourists to cover up before entering National Mosque

KUALA LUMPUR — All tourists would be made to wear a robe before entering the National Mosque, said Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib yesterday, in the latest move to enforce stricter dress codes in Malaysia.

KL Mayor tells tourists to cover up before entering National Mosque

Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib (centre left, in white) helping a tourist don a robe at the National Mosque. Photo: The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR — All tourists would be made to wear a robe before entering the National Mosque, said Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib yesterday, in the latest move to enforce stricter dress codes in Malaysia.

“The robes are to ensure that tourists are decently dressed when visiting the National Mosque as a sign of respect,” Mr Phesal said. “It is the same when they visit other places of worship,” he told reporters at the National Mosque yesterday.

The City Hall’s Tourism Department has sponsored 65 dark purple robes for Muslims and 130 light purple robes for non-Muslims at a cost of RM19,260 (S$6,818).

Mr Phesal said the different colours were to differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims.

“The robes are to ensure that visitors are comfortable and have access to the halls when visiting the mosque,” he said, warning that tourists who do not wear a robe will be denied entry into the mosque.

This move to ensure that all visitors are clothed according to the mosque’s standard comes on the heels of a heated exchange last month between an ethnic Chinese opposition lawmaker and a columnist.

The columnist labelled the lawmaker an “enemy” to her own race for donning a headscarf while at a mosque.

In a Facebook post, Ms Lim Fang, a columnist with Sin Chew Daily and China Press, criticised Selangor State Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) for allegedly giving a chance for Malay government officials to impose dress codes on Chinese women.

“If DAP’s Hannah Yeoh can assimilate into Malay society, why should Chinese women be different from Malay society? The DAP should discipline the enemy within,” the columnist wrote on June 24.

Ms Yeoh, who is ethnic Chinese, retorted on Facebook the next day that “extreme views exist in every faith and race”, and called on fellow Malaysians to reject such a mindset if they hope to move the country forward. AGENCIES

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