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Ipoh School Called Out for Disallowing Sarees to be Worn at Celebration Due to ‘Hot Weather’


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Source: 123RF & Provided to WOB

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Malaysia has always been a multiracial country that celebrates the beautiful differences among our cultures that end up complimenting each other, from our various cultural food to attires.

Hence is why it is weird that a school is isolating and disallowing a specific traditional outfit for quite an odd reason.

Sumitra Selvaraj took to her Instagram account to call out an Ipoh school for disallowing Sarees at their Teacher’s Day and Eid joint celebration for the sole reason that ‘the weather is hot‘.

Saree 3 1

She wrote, “I’m sick of the Saree being used again and again as some sort of tired trope of seduction and inappropriateness. Because that’s exactly what this dress code implies.”

“I hope I’m wrong and that I’ve just fallen prey to a fake forwarded WhatsApp, but there are enough Malaysian Indian woman reading this who REMEMBER the snide remarks that are sent our way when we choose to wear Sarees instead of Baju Kurungs.”


Here is the dress code as shared via WhatsApp allegedly by the Disciplinary Unit of the school: 

Saree 4 1

  • Students are permitted to wear: Baju Kurungs, Baju Kebayas, Punjabi Suits, Jubahs, Blouses, Skirts below the knee level, Kurthis worn with leggings or slacks.
  • Students are also permitted to wear: Hijabs.
  • Closed shoes only, no high heels allowed.
  • No accessories or jewellery such as bangles, rings, chains or earrings allowed.
  • No make up allowed.
  • No jeans allowed.
  • No Sarees allowed as the weather is hot.
  • No men’s attire.
  • Lehengas are allowed as long as the top is not short (cropped).
  • Cheongsams are allowed if worn with leggings or slacks.

“Clothing must be suitable for the occasion and celebration you will be attending,” the school’s Disciplinary Unit added.


The Cheongsam dress code was what initially baffled Sumitra 

Saree 2

“To be honest, it was rule 10 that first infuriated me, because I’m, by now, used to Sarees being banned as attire because they are considered inappropriate. But, the Cheongsam being worn with trousers? It’s SO insulting, look up this lovely ethnic Chinese attire to see what I mean.”

“Of course, everything about this dress code is insulting, that it treats the students and teachers of this school with such lack of agency. I hope it isn’t true, I really do. But, it’s already indicative of how the Saree is perceived in Malaysia by those who don’t have a clue of its adaptability, heritage value and inclusiveness,” she shared.


Sharing with WORLD OF BUZZ, Sumitra clarified that what irks her the most is the fact that the weather is being blamed for the Saree’s exclusion from the dress code.

Saree 1

“Just to make it clear, what I think is unfair is that the Saree has been singled out because of the weather, when it can be worn in ALL weathers. The world over, the Saree is worn from tropical to temperate climates, adjusted to suit the environment”.

“Whoever who issued the notice refuses to acknowledge the adaptability of the Saree, and instead has provided a lame excuse to exclude it. The ruling for trousers under Cheongsams is even worse, if you take the weather excuse into account,” she said.


What do you think? Should the Saree be singled out when it can be tied in various ways that do not expose skin?

Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.


Also read: Nigerian Man Recounts Why He’ll Never Step Foot in Malaysia Again & It’s Truly Heartbreaking

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Source: 123RF
Source: 123RF

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