Hishammuddin: Changing uniforms won’t reduce sexual crimes committed against schoolgirls
The Education Ministry will not change the current uniform worn by girls in Government schools, which has been described as too “sexy” and has allegedly contributed to rape and other immoral acts. Its Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, said the uniform has been in use for decades and would probably not change much in the next few years. He said that he personally felt it was unfair to blame the students or their uniforms for sexual crimes committed against them. “It is unfair to punish women and children for the clothes they wear for the act of the rapist,” he said, adding that he could not allow such stereotyping to continue. “Clothing is not the main consideration for those who commit despicable acts like these,” he said, in reference to the National Islamic Students Association of Malaysia’s condemnation of the uniform for being too sexy. Hishammuddin said that although he believed that changing the uniforms would not reduce sexual crimes committed against schoolgirls, he would refer the matter to experts within his Ministry before making a decision. The Association said the uniform encouraged rape and pre-marital sex. “The white blouse is too transparent for girls and it becomes a source of attraction,” said its Vice President, Munirah Bahari. “It becomes a distraction to men, who are drawn to it, whether or not they like looking at it,” she said, calling for a review of uniform policy so that it did not violate Islamic ideals. Female students at Government schools have a choice of wearing a white blouse with a knee-length skirt or pinafore. They may also wear a “baju kurung” which is a traditional long top and skirt, and a headscarf is optional for Malay students. Munirah said that “covering up” according to Islamic precepts was important to fend off social ills including “rape, sexual harassment and even premarital sex which involve schoolgirls in their teens.” “All this leads to babies born out of wedlock and to an extent, even prostitution,” she said. “Decent clothes which are not revealing can prevent and protect women from any untoward situations,” she said, suggesting that girls wear a blouse of a different colour or with an undergarment. However, the girls themselves also came in for criticism, with the Association saying some used the white blouse to lure men. “This is the source of the problem, where we can see that schoolgirls themselves are capable of using this to attract men to them,” Munirah said, adding this could see them getting molested, having pre-marital sex and all sorts of things.