PETALING JAYA: The police cannot stop anyone from lodging a report just because of the complainant’s choice of attire, says a former top cop.
Former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan said the police should not be “chasing” away those who want to lodge a report as it was their duty to help the public.
“If it is an emergency, it doesn’t matter what she wears. She is a victim, so the police have to allow her to make a report,” he told FMT.
Musa was referring to a recent incident in which a woman who intended to file a police report following a car accident was refused entry into the Kajang police station due to her attire.
The woman was dressed in Bermudas, which she claimed covered her knees. However, Kajang police later insisted that the shorts were above her knees.
Musa also said any officer who prevented anyone from lodging a report would be committing a disciplinary offence.
“People can report (the matter) to the integrity and standard compliance department so that action can be taken against such officers.”
He added that Bukit Aman should issue a directive to all police stations, instructing them to allow anyone to lodge a police report regardless of their attire.
Meanwhile, All Women’s Action Society senior programme manager Lilian Kok noted that Azalina Othman Said, who was then a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had clarified in 2015 that there was no dress code for the public when dealing with government departments and agencies.
Nonetheless, Kok said this should be made clear to all civil servants again through briefings or circulars, adding that government departments and agencies were expected to deliver quality services instead of chastising the public for their attire.
“Administrators of hospitals and police stations must be very clear with their employees about their duties in dealing with emergency situations,” she said.
She also said there was no room for moral policing of any kind in places that provided public service, or under any circumstances involving matters of life and death.
“Bear in mind that dress codes are just guidelines and not laws. As such, services cannot be denied to you solely on the basis of your attire,” she said.