To wear or not to wear songkok (source: The Star)
By NELSON BENJAMIN
JOHOR BARU: The four DAP assemblymen in the state are in a limbo over the wearing of the songkok at the opening of the Johor state legislative assembly.
The assemblymen from Bentayan, Mengkibol, Senai and Skudai, are in a dilemma as some members of the DAP central executive committee (CEC) don't want them to wear the headgear at the June 19 event where the Johor Sultan would be present.
However, a state DAP meeting decided on April 20 that the assemblymen could wear the songkok as a mark of respect to the Sultan.
(In 1990, the Sultan publicly ticked off three Opposition assemblymen for not wearing the songkok).
State DAP vice-chairman Norman Fernadez said it was unfair for the CEC members to practise double standards as assemblymen in Selangor wore the songkok at the opening of their state assemblies.
“Their (CEC) argument that the assemblymen in Selangor are members of the Government does not hold water.
“It is not fair to put the Johor DAP assemblymen in such a difficult position, especially with the Sultan,” Norman said, urging the four to wear their uniform, including the songkok.
Johor DAP chairman and Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau said the state committee had made a decision but it was now up to the CEC to give the final nod.
Mengkibol assemblyman Ng Lam Hua said personally he did not mind wearing the songkok as a mark of respect.
“I asked my constituents and they said they do not care what I wear but are more concerned about what I say at the state assembly,” he said.
Senai assemblyman Ong Kow Meng, who also did not mind wearing the songkok, hoped the CEC would clear the confusion.
However, Bentayan assemblyman Gwee Tong Hiang said that he did not mind taking his chances by not wearing the songkok during the opening.
Speaker Datuk Ali Hassan advised all the assemblymen to wear their official attire including the songkok.
“Assemblymen in Johor are different. They may not be able to enter the assembly without the songkok,” he said, adding that he hoped the DAP assemblymen did not create problems on June 19.
The session ends on July 4.
p/s: I think DAP is hoping to get support from malay leaders in Pakatan Rakyat on this move. I guess, as usual there will be some malays will support this.