Malaysian city bans heavy make-up, noisy high-heels: Report
24 Jun, 2008, 1020 hrs IST, AGENCIES
KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian city has banned Muslim women from wearing brightly
coloured lipstick and noisy high-heeled shoes to work, the national news agency
City officials in Kota Bharu, the capital of conservative northern Kelantan
state -- which is run by the Islamic party PAS -- distributed a circular to
local firms last month to outline the dress code, Bernama said late Monday.
The report said the circular stated that the directive, which targetted Muslim
women working in food outlets and other business premises, was aimed at
preventing incidents like rape and illicit sex.
It ordered women not to wear thick make-up including bright lipstick, or
high-heeled shoes "that gave a tapping sound," although rubber-soled heels were
The directive said that the headscarf worn by many Muslim women in Malaysia
should also cover the chest and not be made of transparent material, and that
those who flouted the rules faced a fine of 500 ringgit (153 dollars).
Kelantan, which has been run by PAS since 1990, is the most conservative state
in Malaysia. The country's population is dominated by Muslim Malays, alongside
large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
The state's rulers have in the past made headlines with laws that require
separate queues for men and women in shops, and for imposing fines on skimpy
However, in recent years the party has begun introducing reforms designed to
tone down its hardline reputation and woo young voters.
An official from the city's law enforcement department said there had been an
"awareness campaign" encouraging Muslim women to conform to Islamic dress codes
"with less make-up and more modesty, including wearing headscarves."
She told AFP that she had not seen the circular reported both by Bernama and a
television network, adding there were no laws forbidding women from wearing
heavy make-up or noisy footwear.
"It is a ridiculous piece of news," said the official, who declined to be