Nazri: Irresponsible to bar hotel staff from wearing headscarves
Minister says such a prohibition is discrimination and cannot be accepted, especially in a Muslim-majority country like Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz today slammed any order forbidding Muslim staff handling front-line customer service from wearing headscarves as irresponsible and an indication of ill breeding.
Nazri said such a directive, if true, would violate the freedom of religion provided for in the Federal Constitution.
âAny Malaysian defending the prohibition on wearing the tudung is âkurang ajarâ,â he told reporters after the pre-launch of the Kuala Lumpur International Craft Festival in Parliament today.
The Malaysian Labour Centre of the Union Network International (Uni-ML C) recently claimed hotel employees had complained about Muslim staff being told to remove their headscarves in the hospitality and tourism industry.
The centre said this was also happening to hospitality and tourism students applying for internships.
However, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) defended its membersâ policy of prohibiting their frontline staff from wearing the tudung, saying it was international practice and should not be considered discrimination.
MAH said it was a policy and standard operating procedure (SOP) followed by all hotels worldwide.
However, Nazri said hoteliers in Muslim-majority Malaysia should object to such an SOP.
âWhen you come to someone elseâs country, please show it some respect. This (prohibition) is discrimination and cannot be accepted, whatever the excuse. We must protest.
âWearing the tudung is our culture and since 60% of Malaysians are Muslim, wearing clothes encouraged by Isla m would be the norm.â
Nazri said in his experience, five-star hotels under global names always respected human rights and religious freedom.
âThese large companies typically stress equality and human rights. I donât believe they would impose such a condition prohibiting staff from wearing the tudung,â he said.
Nazri said his ministry had never received any complaint about such a rule, but that it was not empowered to close down any hotel that imposed the policy.
âOur responsibility is to award star-rating for hotels based on their facilities.
âThe licensing of hotels is within the power of the urban well-being, housing and local government ministry.â
Source: Google News