Health Workers Exempt From Thursday Batik Mandate: JPA

A JPA FAQ states that government health care workers, including doctors and other health care staff who wear lab coats, are exempt from the compulsory Malaysian batik dress code for federal civil servants on Thursdays.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 – Doctors and other health care workers, including those who wear a lab coat, are exempt from compulsory Malaysian batik attire for federal civil servants on Thursdays.

The Public Service Department (JPA), in an FAQ dated last August 21 as sighted by CodeBlue, addressed the question of whether medical officers and health care workers are subject to the Malaysian batik mandate that was enforced since August 21, since clinical officers wear lab coats at work.

“No, federal officers supplied with uniforms are exempt from wearing Malaysian batik, including health care workers who wear lab coats,” said the JPA FAQ.

The FAQ also stated that male civil servants are prohibited from wearing short-sleeved Malaysian batik shirts and that they must wear long-sleeved shirts.

Women civil servants are not permitted to wear batik-patterned headscarves in lieu of Malaysian batik garments. 

CodeBlue previously reported a senior medical officer’s complaint about the Thursday batik mandate, who said it was “abrupt” and “unnecessary”, particularly for doctors in clinical jobs who often wear white lab coats. 

Before this new mandate under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration, federal civil servants were previously simply recommended or encouraged to wear Malaysian batik at work every Thursday.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said recently that the Malaysian batik dress code for federal civil servants – compulsory on Thursdays and optional every other work day – was meant to support energy efficiency, in line with raising air-conditioner temperatures in government offices to 24°C to 25°C. 

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