KUANTAN: The relevant parties, including the government, must review the policy which prevents women wearing headscarves from working in frontline positions in the hotel industry, said Puteri Umno head Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.
She said the issue should not arise as the Malaysian constitution clearly stated that Islam is the official religion and it also gave the people the freedom to practise their religion.
“I read a report on social media about the prohibition on women wearing the headscarf (in frontline jobs). As head of Puteri Umno, I do not agree with this policy,” she said.
She said her sister-in-law had faced the same problem recently when she applied for a job and was told that she would not be employed because she was wearing a headscarf. Her prospective employer had also wanted her to wear a skirt.
“The time has come for the relevant parties and government to look at this matter as it is unfair to young women looking for jobs in this country,” she told reporters after a meeting with Pahang Puteri Umno branches here today.
The event was followed by the launch of the 14th general election machinery by Pahang Umno liaison committee chairman Adnan Yaakob.
Mas Ermieyati, who is also deputy tourism and culture minister, was commenting on a statement by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) which defended the action of hotel operators who banned female Muslim staff wearing headscarves from working in the customer services section.
According to MAH, it was an international policy and not discriminatory.
The Malaysia Labour Centre of the Union Network International recently said many hotel employees had complained about the discrimination against female Muslim staff, who were ordered to take off their headscarves.
According to the centre, the same situation was also faced by hospitality and tourism students applying for internships.