State Women Development, Family and Welfare committee chairman Mumtaz Md Nawi, who launched the campaign, said the state government circular previously applied to female civil servants but it will now be enforced on male employees too.
The circular, issued in 1993 by the state secretary, is now enforced on both genders since Sunday as the Al-Quran states that males must also cover certain parts, she said.
She told Harakahdaily, the official PAS organ, that although male civil servants were dressed according to Islamic principles while at work, they failed to do so particularly when donning sports attire.
Aurat are parts of the human body which must, according to Islam, be covered from the sight of others with clothing.
Women need to be fully covered except for the hands and face while the men must cover themselves from navel to the knees.
Mumtaz also said the government had the responsibility to safeguard the dignity of those under its administration, similar to that of a father overseeing his family in the Islamic context.
When contacted, Mumtaz advised all visitors to the government complex to be decently dressed.
She said no action would be taken against those who failed to adhere to the dress code for Muslims.
“We are not interested in taking action or penalising anyone. It is only an advisory guideline to educate people.
“It’s just like guidelines on dress code in Parliament or the circular to wear batik on Thursdays and so on,” she said.
Meanwhile, state MCA secretary Tan Ken Ten said the Muslim dress code propagated by the Kelantan government should be respected as long as it did not involve non-Muslims.
“What we do not want is non-Muslims turned away from government departments because they are ignorant of a Muslim dress code,” he said.
Persatuan Ulama Malaysia secretary-general Dr Mohd Roslan Nor said covering one’s aurat was not a matter of personal choice, but a part of the religion that should be followed by Muslims.
“We agree with the stand to encourage people to keep their aurat covered. However, we would like to see the state government encourage it through education, not punishment,” he said.
– THE STAR