The municipal council in a northern Malaysian city Kota Baru has asked women working in restaurants and other businesses to refrain from wearing heavy makeup, including bright lipstick, and high-heeled shoes that make tapping sounds. If they insist on wearing such shoes, the heels should be padded with rubber, reports said on June 23, adding that the circular aimed to protect the women’s dignity and morals.
Kota Baru is the capital of Kelantan state, which is ruled by Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party.
The city already has a directive that women should wear non-transparent headscarves that cover the chest, long-sleeved, loose blouses and socks. Those who break the rules can be fined up to 500 ringgit. Malaysia, where about two-thirds of the population is Malay Muslim, prides itself on being a moderate country. Other ethnic groups – Chinese and Indians who follow other religions – do not face restrictions on their clothing and are free to practice their faiths.