DAP defends songkok move

(The Star) – JOHOR BARU: The state Opposition Leader has urged supporters to respect the decision of four DAP state assemblymen to wear the songkok for the coming state assembly sitting.

Dr Boo Cheng Hau said their commitment to serve the people was more important than the songkok.

Perfect fit: Ong (left) and Dr Boo trying on their state assembly uniform at a tailor shop in Johor Baru yesterday.

“Of course there are opposing views, but many feel that it just shows respect to the Sultan,” he said during the final fitting of his uniform.

Dr Boo, who is also Johor DAP chairman and the Skudai state assemblyman, said the decision was made although there was no ruling which said the songkok had to be worn.

He said the party’s central executive committee had left it to the state committee to decide whether to wear the songkok and a decision was made on April 20.

“When we discussed the matter, we decided to wear the songkok in deference to the Sultan,” he said but cautioned that the people should not get the wrong message.

Dr Boo said it was important to note that they did not support the mandatory wearing of songkok in schools or universities as multicultural sensitivities had to be respected.

“We don’t want this to happen in unofficial circumstances where people are forced to wear something that is not reflective of their own religion and culture,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senai assemblyman Ong Kow Meng said he hoped all the DAP state assemblymen would abide by the state committee’s decision and wear the songkok on June 19.

“This is an isolated incident out of respect for the Sultan. There is no regulation which says that the songkok should be worn all the time,” he said, adding that he hoped the community and party members would understand.


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