Malaysia Allows Civil Servants to Wear Batik, Uses Indonesia as Model


Malaysia‘s Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad announced on Tuesday, August 22, that civil servants are now allowed to wear batik to work every day and not just on Thursdays as mandated by the regulation.

Nik Nazmi said the circular was related to energy efficiency in government offices. “Usually in the parliament, for example, [civil servants adopt] the British style of wearing a suit and tie. It doesn’t make sense,” he said when met by Tempo in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Nik Nazmi, who is on a working trip to Indonesia, said that if Indonesia can wear batik, why Malaysia can’t do so.

In a press statement, Nik Nazmi said the decision had taken into account the climate in Malaysia and the government’s commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions as early as 2050 by reducing the carbon footprint from the energy consumption practices. 

This would also help the local batik industry, the minister added.

The recommendation to change the dress code would be relayed to all members of the People’s Council and the State Council.

In addition, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (EECA) which he presented to Malaysia’s Cabinet on August 2 ensured that the temperature in all government offices is maintained between 24 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Last year, Selangor Chief Minister Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said that the state assembly planned to allow batik clothing in its session after the initiative was implemented at the Parliamentary level, according to the national news agency Bernama.