De Palma stands on employee wearing headscarf in hotels

SHAH ALAM: De Palma Group of Hotels which had strategically moved its operating concept towards Syariah or Muslim friendly stand along with the International Women's Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education (Wafiq) which sees the ban of a female employee to wear a headscarf as discriminatory and unnecessary.

As a Muslim-majority Malaysia, it is really an improper regulation to be adopted by hotels in Malaysia, said De Palma Group of Hotel's Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Azaharul Hisham Dato' Sulong Ahmad.

He added, "We should not adopt such standard operating procedure (SOP) and hoteliers should object to such SOP. At this point, the motivation for promoting such procedure is not within understanding where the facts may not be correct in reference to the referred policy".

He responded on the issue highlighted by The Union Network International-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC) recently which they had received numerous complaints from female hotel employees saying that their management does not allow them to wear a headscarf at work.

De Palma strongly opposed the statement made by The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) on the related issue. MAH through its chairman, Samuel Cheah Swee Hee has defended its members' policy of prohibiting their frontline staff from wearing headscarf saying it is international practice and not meant to be discriminatory. He added, "The policy has been practised in international hotel chains that use the same SOP on uniforms in all hotels in their chain globally".

We believed if such policy is true then it cannot be valid in star graded operating in Islamic countries in around the world where international chain hotels presently operate.

"At De Palma, we never insist our non-Muslim frontliners to wear headscarf although we are Syariah or Muslim friendly hotel. We highly respect their religious and constitutional rights and consciously avoid such prejudice," said Dr Azaharul Hisham.

He added, "MAH should strongly propose to its members to consider headscarf as permissible part of frontliner' uniform instead of consenting to the discriminatory practice and if there existed an unwritten policy regarding headscarf, then it is the job of MAH to put its members in perspectives aligned to the Malaysian context".

De Palma distance itself from such policy and until those remarks are corrected its membership with MAH will be reviewed. De Palma is simply against any form of discrimination in a humanistic manner and will not be associated with elements of such. – Bernama