Lawyer tells off Parliament security guards turned moral police

Meera-Samanther-guardPETALING JAYA: Security personnel at the Parliament entrance today let a woman through after being sharply rebuked for harassment when they tried to bar her from entering because her outfit was considered “indecent”.

Women’s Aid Organisation assistant treasurer Meera Samanther was told her knee-length skirt, which she usually wears to attend court hearings, was too short when she tried to enter the premises.

Meera, who spoke to The Star, was both stunned and incensed by the moral policing.

“I lost my cool. So I raised my voice and told him (guard) to stop harassing me.”

Surprised and confused, the security man let her stride past.

Meera, a lawyer, said a colleague of hers was similarly harassed by Parliament security personnel when she drove to the guardhouse for a security pass.

“The security person even peeked into the car to see what she was wearing and told her to get down so they could see the length of the skirt.

“This is unacceptable.”

She said security personnel should focus on actual security threats instead of trying to impose their morals on visitors.

Parliament corporate communications head Tengku Nasaruddin Tengku Mohamed said the incident was being investigated.

“Parliament will issue an official statement soon.”

There have been numerous reports of government servants at public departments, including even the airport, turning moral police and refusing entry or service to women they consider inappropriately dressed.

The subject had been raised even in Parliament by ministers who wished to know if there was a “moral dress code” for visitors to government premises.

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said had said that Putrajaya did not enforce a dress code on visitors and would entertain all, even those who were dressed “inappropriately”.