Authorities of a Malaysian city have banned bright lipstick and noisy high-heeled shoes, saying it is aimed at preventing sexual assaults and illicit sex.
The directive issued by the municipal council of Kota Baru in northern Malaysia forbids Muslim women from putting on thick make-up, like bright colored lipstick. They can't also move around in high-heeled shoes that gave a tapping sound, news agency Bernama said.
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The city has already a directive calling on Muslim women to wear non-transparent headscarves that cover the chest, long-sleeved and loose blouses and socks.
Anyone not following the regulations can be fined up to 500 ringgit ($153), Bernama said.
The directive is aimed toward Muslim women working in restaurants and other businesses in the city. It said the ban will safeguard the morals and dignity of the women as well as thwart rape.
An official from the city's law enforcement department said there had been an "awareness campaign" encouraging Muslim women to conform to Islamic dress codes "with less make-up and more modesty, including wearing headscarves."
She told AFP that she had not seen the circular reported both by Bernama and a television network, adding there were no laws forbidding women from wearing heavy make-up or noisy footwear.
"It is a ridiculous piece of news," said the official, who declined to be identified.
Kota Baru is the capital of of Kelantan state, which is ruled by the hard-line opposition party, Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).
The state's rulers have in the past made headlines with laws that require separate queues for men and women in shops, and for imposing fines on skimpy clothing.
At one time, PAS advocated an Islamic state, but has backed away from the stance in recent months, in an attempt to woo younger voters.
Malaysia, a multi-racial society containing many ethnic groups, considers itself a moderate Muslim country. Muslims comprise about 60 percent of the population. Buddhists, Christians and Hindus who also make up the religious make up of the country do not face restrictions on clothing or practices.
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