Malaysia Airlines: sarong and hijab, do they mix?

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Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia’s national flag carrier, plans to make the flight attendants’ uniform more conservative by adding a hijab and making the traditional sarong more “decent”. Female cabin crew have worn a sarong kebaya uniform since 1986. It is also common in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic state in which Malays, Chinese, indigenous peoples and people of Indian descent live together. But since the Malays constitute the majority of the population with a share of around 60%, they have priority over other ethnic groups.

In recent years, the country has become more conservative, as Islam, the state religion, plays a major role there. This was also evident in the parliamentary elections at the end of November 2022, in which the Islam Se-Malaysia Party obtained a significant number of votes. He is considered to be extremely conservative and populist and, although he is not in government, he is a very conservative opposition.

The airline would therefore consider introducing new, more sober uniforms for stewardesses and the optional introduction of a traditional hijab should also be considered. The airline talks about being able to offer more inclusiveness to its staff…

Catherine Mills Avatar