Monday, 25 October 2010

MPs Giving a Dressing Down to Teresa!

Teresa stands by her blouse

By LEE YUK PENG
yukpeng@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok stood up to accusations that her long-sleeved blouse was “too revealing” for Parliament, saying she saw nothing wrong with her choice of outfit on Thursday.

The MP from DAP, who wore the blouse made of sheer material and a dress, was criticised during question time by Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN–Putatan) who complained that her outfit was revealing (menjolok mata) and improper.

“It was long-sleeved and not entirely transparent. I see nothing wrong with the blouse. I will continue to wear it in future,’’ said Kok yesterday.

Dress issue: Kok showing the outfit she wore to Parliament on Thursday.
 
Kok, who was attacked 10 years ago in another episode involving her outfit, said the complaint was nonsense.

“I think Putatan (Dr Marcus) was seeking attention on TV since the first 30 minutes of question time is on live telecast,’’ she added.

Dr Marcus, citing Standing Orders, stood up to point out to Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia that Kok’s outfit was revealing and inappropriate.

Pandikar Amin, however, defused the situation, saying he was not drawn to Kok’s clothes.

When contacted, Dr Marcus argued that Kok should be wearing formal attire like her male counterparts.

“I stood to remind her that she was not in proper parliamentarian attire. One must be serious in Parliament and not main-main (fool around). She wore a fancy dress as if she was taking part in a fashion show. Parliament is not the place for her to show how nice her dresses are,” he said.

Standing Order 41(f) states that a woman should either be wearing national attire, sarong or long-sleeved blouse with knee-length skirt, ceremonial dress or any attire permitted by the Chair in the Dewan Rakyat.

Monday October 25, 2010

Giving MPs a dressing down must be done in private

I WAS bemused and at the same time irked by the news report in which Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (pic) was accused by Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) of wearing a blouse that was “too revealing” for Parliament – and of all times, during Question Time.

Question Time in Parliament is an important session for MPs to discuss issues of national importance, not for trivial matters as an MP’s outfit.

Should it be true that any MP, regardless of whatever political party he or she belong to, has violated the dress code of Parliament, then he or she should be told in private by the Chair or Parliament officer in charge of protocol.

It is very unseemly for a person to criticise in public another person’s mode of dressing. In this case, more so because we are talking about national leaders who should know how to behave.

As a woman leader, Kok has it twice as hard as she is a minority in a very male-dominated field. It is difficult to retain your feminity when you are working with men.

If she were to dress a bit too feminine, she would be accused of “taking part in a fashion show”. And, if she were to dress more formally, she would be accused of trying too hard to be “one of the guys”.

As such, Marcus should have been more gracious when he found that her attire “menjolok mata” and behaved in a gentlemanly manner by going through the proper channels to advise her instead of shaming her in public, on national television no less.

Elected representatives should be more focused on doing their jobs.

JULIANA P,
Kuala Lumpur.