Thursday, January 17, 2008




Most Government servants in Sabah have given their thumbs up to the new Government ruling requiring all the male civil servants to wear Malaysian batik to work on Thursdays. The new ruling which wifi take effect this week, is to introduce and improve the status of Malaysian batik. Juvita G Bingkasan, 48, a staff of the Livestock and Husbandry Services Department, agreed with the new ruling as it would give civil servants more opportunities to don the batik. “As of now, people tend to only wear batik during formal occasions and most of the time it is only worn by people of certain social status. Therefore, this ruling gives the entire community, especially the Government servants, more opportunities to wear batik,” said Juvita who has been serving the Government for 20 years. Meanwhile, Jamalia Baliga, 49, a school administrator, said she would execute the directive and make sure that all male teachers in her school abide by it as soon as she receives the circular. “The staff in the school already adhere to the present ruling of wearing batik on the first and 15th of each month. In fact, we also wear the school’s official uniform every Monday,” she said. She explained that the introduction of this new ruling would further promote Malaysian batik and instil discipline among the teachers. He added the ruling should also be applied to female staff so that it would be more uniformed. Ahmad Khairut Termizi Daud, 24, a school staff, was optimistic that the Government’s move would boost the country’s handicraft industry. “This newly implemented step will not create any problem to the civil servants and in fact it will further strengthen our Malaysian identity and show our patriotism to the country,” said Ahmad who suggested that female civil servants should also be included in the ruling. According to Along Nur Hakim @ Sarnoh, wearing batik is something that should be encouraged along with the Government’s efforts to develop the tourism industry and the small and medium industries in the country. Nur Hakim who works in the Inland Revenue Board, Keningau branch, said it would boost the local batik industry and the local handicraft sector. On Tuesday, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan announced that beginning this week, all male civil servants should wear Malaysian-made batik shirts to work every Thursday. He said a Government circular to enforce the ruling was signed by Public Services Department Director General Tan Sri Ismail Adam, adding that it would be sent to all the Government departments soon. Prior to this new ruling, male civil servants were required to wear batik shirts to work only on the first and 15th of every month. “Formerly, it (the ruling to use batik) was only every Saturday. Back then, it was easy to remember. Now, since we changed to first and 15th of every month, people tend to forget. “We are going back to the same system... which is easier to remember. We only allow the use of Malaysian batik and nothing else,” he said.