A clothing store owner in Kelantan, Malaysia was fined by local authorities for being dressed inappropriately.
Her outfit? A pink oversized T-shirt that was covering her shorts.
The 35-year-old woman, surnamed Lee, took to Facebook to air her grievances after she was slapped with the fine last Sunday (June 25), reported Nanyang Siang Pau.
In her post, Lee included a photo of herself holding the fine notice while dressed in a black T-shirt and blue shorts. She did not say how much she was fined.
During an interview with Nanyang Siang Pau, Lee said that she had always dressed the same way since her clothing store opened two years ago, and never ran into trouble with the authorities.
She also previously worked in a hair salon wearing similar clothes and had no issues.
She also told the Malaysian publication that she tried to reason with the enforcement officer but was still issued the fine without warning.
Lee’s post quickly received traction online.
Responding to the online detractors, the Kota Bahru City Council (MPKB) released a statement on Monday, explaining that Lee was not fined for the outfit she was wearing in her Facebook post.
The city council then released photos of Lee when she was caught by enforcement officers, where she was sporting a pink oversized T-shirt that covered her shorts.
According to the notice, Lee’s alleged offence read: “The non-Muslim business owner is dressed indecently (in a T-shirt and shorts up to her backside).”
The notice further stated that Lee has seven days to settle the amount, or face legal action.
Under Malaysian law, non-Muslim business owners and their non-Muslim employees must wear “decent clothes”, and if they are Muslim, to wear clothes that cover their aurat (parts of the body that must be covered except to a woman’s husband or relatives).
Malaysian minister asks city council to retract fine
On Tuesday, Malaysia’s Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming asked the MPKB to retract the fine issued to Lee, as it infringed her constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, reported the MalayMail.
“This was a non-Muslim trader in her own shop and she was wearing shorts.
“These are fundamental rights and freedoms which are guaranteed in the Federal Constitution,” he told Malaysian media.
He added that the enforcement officer should have corrected the woman and educated her in this case, while respecting that she is a non-Muslim.