Dress code criticism unwarranted, Chong tells Masing

Chong (left) speaking with Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah during a short break for the morning session of the DUN sitting (April 30, 2019).

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 30: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen does not see anything wrong with DAP lawmakers not wearing the ‘first uniform’ (ceremonial attire) when they attended the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN)’s opening ceremony yesterday.

“I don’t see why the first uniform is such a big issue. Why we wore them in Parliament but not here simply because there was a request from Parliament that as a member of the government, we should wear it,” he told reporters during a short break in the DUN sitting today.

He was responding to Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s criticism of DAP Sarawak members for attending the opening ceremony yesterday in all black attire. Masing said members of the august House and those involved were required to use ceremonial attire as a show of respect for the occasion and the DUN.

“Since there was a directive to wear the first uniform (in Parliament), we followed. But in the DUN here, there was no such directive,” Chong pointed out.

Without instruction from DUN, Chong, who is also the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, opined it was a matter of choice and personal liberty to wear or not to wear the ceremonial attire.

“But why create a mountain out of a mole hill on whether to wear or not wear. Are there no more important businesses rather than to criticise on the first uniform?” Chong wondered out loud.

Masing had also suggested that DUN officials ban DUN members from attending the opening ceremony without proper attire in future. — DayakDaily