No more ties needed for entry to Malaysia’s parliament

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Feb 2023:

Malaysian Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Johari Abdul yesterday said he would eliminate the obligation to wear a tie in the chamber for at least a year from the next parliament session from Feb 13, a measure that seeks to relax etiquette rules.

Johari, already declared the tie optional for a special session of parliament on Dec 19 and 20.

The rule affects men – who are required to wear a tie with the suit – and also includes journalists and visitors, who also have to comply with the dress protocol.

According to parliament’s rules, men must wear suits or national dress, while women must also wear formal clothing, including traditional dress or long skirt and long-sleeved blouse.

Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who came to power in November after winning the elections, does not usually wear a tie at government meetings, a style some of his ministers have begun to copy.

For more than a decade, Japan has promoted measures to save energy during the hottest months between May and October, including eliminating the requirement to wear a tie.

The British parliament removed the tie from the mandatory dress protocol in 2017, while New Zealand did the same in 2021, after a Maori deputy was expelled from the house for not wearing this garment.

In Spain, prime minister Pedro Sanchez advised ministers and the private sector in July to avoid wearing a tie to spend less on air conditioning.