Parliament official denies lawyer stopped for ‘short’ skirt

By Anith Adilah
Meera (left) and Tan had to fight their way into Parliament after security personnel deemed their skirts were too short. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, April 13 — Security personnel at Parliament have refuted claims by Women Aid Organisation’s assistant treasurer Meera Samanther she was denied entry last week because her skirt was too short.

Parliament’s corporate communications division head Tengku Nasaruddin Tengku Mohamed said Meera was barred from entering the Parliament grounds because of safety reasons as they did not have prior information of her attendance.

“Meera arrived at 9.01am. The permission was given seven minutes later after security personnel confirmed with Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran she was his guest,” Tengku Nasaruddin said in a statement to Malay Mail yesterday.

“The results of the investigation contradict with what Meera claimed. She was not stopped for indecent dressing.”

He said Parliament would not compromise on security matters relating to visitors.

Last Wednesday, Meera said she went to Parliament with others from the non-government organisation to meet Kulasegaran and M. Indira Gandhi following the deferment of the debate on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill to the next Parliament session.

Meera, a lawyer, was wearing a knee-length skirt which she had worn to court previously without any issue.

Indira’s daughter, Tevi Darsiny, was also barred from entering Parliament for not adhering to the dress code.

Tengku Nasaruddin said Tevi was wearing tight pants with red sneakers which violated the dress code.

“Tevi was finally allowed to enter after agreeing to change to a different footwear. We also allowed her in at the insistence of Kulasegaran, who was present at the main gate,” he said.

Meera’s colleague, Tan Heang-Lee, who also wore a knee-length skirt, was told to get out of her car at the guardhouse so security personnel could make sure her skirt was “decent” for her to enter Parliament.

Tengku Nasaruddin said they were only performing their security duties by asking her to step out of the vehicle for an inspection.

“There was no issue as she was given a visitor’s pass after the security personnel were satisfied with her attire,” he said.

“We will continue to ensure visitors abide by the dress code guidelines which was set to protect the Parliament’s good name and reputation.”

He said it took Parliament three days to conduct a thorough investigation into the incidents, which involved examining closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages and recording security personnel’s statements.