Malaysian province bans lipstick, high heels

June 25th, 2008 - 12:44 am ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, June 24 (DPA) The northeastern Malaysian state of Kelantan, which is ruled by a hardline Islamic party, has issued a ban on lipstick and high-heeled shoes for working Muslim women, news reports said Tuesday. The State Executive Council - controlled by the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), which has ruled the state for 17 years but sits in opposition in the federal government - issued a circular to businesses stating the new dress code, the official Bernama news agency said.

In its directive, the council said Muslim women may not wear thick makeup, bright-coloured lipstick and high-heeled shoes that make “tapping” sounds.

Those who insisted on wearing high-heeled shoes should choose those with rubber soles, the report said.

The council also said female Muslim employees must wear head scarves that should cover the chest and not be of transparent material as well as long-sleeved blouses and socks.

The report quoted council members as saying the directive was given to prevent incidents like rape and illicit sex as well as to safeguard the morals and dignity of Muslim women in the state.

Those found to be flouting the new dress code face a fine of up to 500 ringgit (about $147).

The council could not be reached for comment.

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