MIC treasurer-general Datuk Seri S Vell Paari said the statement made by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) is akin to telling Muslim women to work elsewhere if they refuse to adhere to the no headscarf policy. FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: Refusing women wearing headscarves to work in hotels is discriminatory against the Muslim community in Malaysia said MIC.

MIC treasurer-general Datuk Seri S Vell Paari said the statement made by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) is akin to telling Muslim women to work elsewhere if they refuse to adhere to the no headscarf policy.

“I find the statement by MAH chairman Samuel Cheah Swee Hee irresponsible.

“May I remind Mr Samuel that Malaysia is a multiracial country and any form of discrimination against any religion will not be tolerated,” he said in a statement on Monday.

The ban on headscarves was unfair and discriminatory, he continued, as these women were not allowed to work in five-star hotels just because of their religious requirements and beliefs.

Samuel was quoted as saying he was concerned that Malaysia was becoming too conservative by allowing Muslim women to wear headscarves in hotels.

To this, Vell Paari urged Samuel to look at the country's first point of entry, which are the airports, where Muslim women in headscarves work.

“There has never been any issue on this and until now no tourist, upon seeing our women immigration staff wearing a headscarf, has decided to not enter Malaysia.

“One’s professionalism does not drop just because one is wearing a headscarf and observing her religious requirements.”

He also challenged Samuel to pay local Malaysian employees in hotels ‘five-star wages’, as he was supposedly very concerned about implementing five-star standard operation procedures.

“I also call upon the government to request MAH to disclose which five-star hotels in this country do not allow Muslim women to wear a headscarf.

“There is no place for discrimination against any religion in this country.”

The Malaysian Labour Centre of the Union Network International recently received a complaint from a woman who was ordered to remove her headscarf while working in a hotel.

527 reads