Thursday, January 9, 2014

Be a Man, Make Your Stand

A few months ago, I spoke up for Muslim women in tudung against discrimination during recruitment process based on the principle enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. (See below the statement.) 

On "Allah" issue, I've made my stand and remain unchanged: the Federal Constitution is the law of this land and it provides every Malaysian his or her right to profess, practice and manage his or her own religion. 

Here's what I want to tell our Prime Minister: "Mr Prime Minister, I've made my stand as a law maker of Selangor. Now, you, be a man, make your stand as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. And yes, please remember 10-point solution sir. The whole country is waiting for you." 


Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, DAP Social Media Strategist and ADUN for Damansara Utama on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 in Petaling Jaya.

Muslim women with ‘tudung’ should be free from any forms of discrimination and prejudice in the recruitment process. Firms should recruit employees based solely on merit and competency.

Recently a Facebook status of a Muslim lady by the name of Mira Kamil has gone viral as she shared her experience of blatant discrimination against Muslim women with ‘tudung’. She was rejected outright in several international retail stores in KLCC based entirely on the fact that she was wearing ‘tudung’. Her story was later verified by Harian Metro as one of their reporters went undercover to try to seek job in the stores and was refused based on the same reason. The entire process being recorded in a YouTube video: 

Muslim women should be free to express their religious belief and there should be no force from the employers or compulsion from anybody to make them wear or not to wear ‘tudung’. Muslim women with ‘tudung’ should be free from any forms of discrimination and prejudice; they should not be at a disadvantaged position in the employment process not to mention outright rejection as what has been reported.

In fact, this issue is not of religion but of justice and equal rights. There is a need to review on whether to explicitly include clothing items in the non-discrimination clause of the constitution of Malaysia as of the constitution of the United State and Mexico. (Article 8 Clause 2 of the constitution of Malaysia states “there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, gender or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment”.)

Finally, we would like to urge the companies in Malaysia to treat all the potential candidates equally in the recruitment process. The way a woman chooses to dress speaks little of her characters, competency and capability, which are the most important characteristics of a productive employee. The economy will benefit when companies in Malaysia are free from discrimination and the best employees are hired to run the companies.

News links of the statement can be found here: