Schools and universities are the best places to educate our youths about the different races and cultures in Malaysia, as well as learn to be tolerant of each other.
However, a recent statement by a local university once again sparks a huge backlash from netizens for putting racism to play.
In a tweet, a user shared a poster that bears the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) emblem and slams the university for practicing supremacist policies.
The poster was a dress code guideline for its 50th convocation ceremony that is happening next month.
While it shows the acceptable and unacceptable attire for graduands and guests attending the convocation ceremony, it lists the saree and cheongsam in the prohibited category, alongside a short-sleeved blouse and knee-length pencil skirt combination.
The saree and cheongsam are traditional dress for ethnic Chinese and Indians women.
UKM is this true? Why are you, a university, practising supremacist policies? Please STOP ✋ pic.twitter.com/VrkAjFXGpA— Anne James 🏴🏴🏴🏴🏴🏴 (@annejames44) October 30, 2022
Why ban cheongsam and saree?
In the comment section, some netizens condemned the university for not respecting the non-Muslims and their culture.
“Why are sarees and cheongsam considered inappropriate? It’s a traditional dress just like a baju kurung or kebaya. Are you saying your non-Malay graduates and their family are lesser than their Malay cohorts?” a netizen asked.
One netizen also pointed out that universities are supposed to have an open mind and teach their students to embrace the customary practices of other communities and citizens of the nation. “Being a publicly funded university, can the senate explain these dress code restrictions on sarees?” the netizen asked.
This is for graduation ceremony, not attending normal classes. & they are being strict about no showing forearm for both male and female— Amri (@amrisolarstreak) October 30, 2022
The poster does seems to contain racial bias, I agree,& in this era that everyone can easily be offended by everything, they need to update it
On the other hand, some netizens said the university is only stressing that graduands and guests should not wear anything sleeveless and sexy.
“There are long sleeve versions of saree and cheongsam. This is a formal event and people should dress decently,” a netizen said.
“You need to understand what sleeveless means. It is not stated there that ‘other races traditional attire not allowed’. If you prefer a saree or cheongsam, wear a long sleeve version and an inner shirt for saree,” another netizen said.
The dress code guideline has since been taken down by the university following the backlash, the last we check. However, the university has yet to respond to the backlash too.
Stay tuned for more updates!