Police’s duty to serve all regardless of how people dress, says Bandar Kuching MP

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, Feb 5: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen has criticised Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani over his recent remark on the dress code at police stations.

He was referring to the IGP’s statement carried in the media yesterday with the latter insisting that the public must follow the government dress code at police stations, except in ‘life or death’ emergencies.

The latter’s statement came following an incident that recently went viral on social media involving a woman who was denied entry into a Selangor district police station for wearing a pair of shorts which came above her knees.

Describing the IGP’s statement as flawed and irresponsible, Dr Yii said it is the responsibility of the police force to police for the community, and not to ‘moral police’ the community especially when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of the people regardless of how they dress to make a police report.

“It must be the first assumption that every case is an emergency, whether life or death, when people walk into the station and should not be barred from entering as no one would go to the police station to lodge police reports unless they have to, as they need police assistance.

“It is not only in cases of life and death; it should not matter at all how a person is dressed in any situation. The police should not impose perceived morality which may deny or hinder proper protection or even justice,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii further reminded the IGP that it is not illegal to dress in certain ways as long as it does not expose and breach public indecency.

However, it is the responsibility of the police to uphold the very law of the country and not impose any other regulations at the police station that may hinder justice.

“The lady had to lodge a report because the law compels her to do so. This duty is required regardless of how she dresses. Thus the police have to carry out their duty too.

“That is why I urge the IGP to retract his statement and for the Ministry (of Home Affairs) to show leadership and give the needed assurance to the people that they will be served and protected regardless of any circumstances or how they dress.

“The police should really uphold their motto, ‘Polis dan masyarakat berpisah tiada‘ (Police and the people are inseparable) and not ‘Polis dan masyarakat berpisah tiada, bergantung kepada cara pemakaian‘ (Police and the community are inseparable, depending on the dress code),” he added. – DayakDaily