We can't get our way all the time, do we? And the SUN reporter should accept that in her stride that it is part and parcel of her job. No need to blow it out of proportion or over dramatise the incident.
It all started when a reporter wrote "dress code knee invite" detailing her experience of being prevented from entering the Ministry of Defense to carry out her assignment. It is then later pick up by her colleague in one of the column "skirting the issue".
Both the reporter and the columnist may feel that the reporter should be allowed to cover the event but let's straighten out one thing first, we are talking about Mindef here and teh keyword for Ministry of Defense is discipline.
The reporter admitted that there is a large signboard which explains the "can" and "cannot" wear before entering the premises and mini skirts is one of them. So why need to blow out the issue? If the guards did not allow the reporter to enter, then by all means respect their decision.What the reporter failed to comprehend is the "what if" situation. What if teh guards allow her to enter and what if this act offended the top brass? What if the guards were then hauled up and taken disciplinary actions for their decision? Will the reporter be there to defend them? Please understand that the guards are just carrying out their duties so please respect their decision.
There is no necessity for the columnist to enter the fray and highlighted it further. Granted it is his right to write but it is also his duty to see through the issue. Don't just look at the micro picture and that particular incident. Look at it from a bigger picture, one that is known as discipline.Looking around us, it seems that military is the last of our institution that still breeds discipline.
Without going further, let's look around us. Our office dress codes may differ but basically it should be trousers and shirts for men. Lately, i have come across many men who wear 3/4 , cargo pants to work matched with round neck t-shirts. Is this acceptable? Are we moving on to a "carefree" society where you can wear whatever you like to go to office? as long as the employees are comfortable?
Look at our girls. Sometimes you barely can differentiate whether they are coming to work or returning from a late-night out. Somehow, office attire has lost its importance. Is that it?
Returning to the female reprter, it is not entirely her fault that she is caught in that situation. She did not pre-planned it. The assignment comes and she is at Mindef within half an hour. She is decently dressed as an office worker but her attire does not conform to Mindef's.So, who is at fault? I will say that her editor is at fault. The editor should has his/her senses to send a male reporter to cover the event. In that way, the attire issue will be a non-issue.
Alternative solution? The female reporter should has a "spare" pair of pants which she could wear to get her out of her predicament. That is actually not hard to do - all she needs is resource and quick thinking. And they say that reporters are quick thinkers, if we were to see how some of them manage to get snoops and breaking news.
Moral of the story? There is no necessity for the reporter to write her gripes in the paper. And the columnist can do better by not mentioning the incident. Simply put, "masuk kandang harimau mengaum, masuk kandang kambing mengembek"...is it that hard to understand?
Some may ask why nightcaller? It is my favourite TV series way back in the 80's.
Back then, Jack Killian @ nighthawk goes on the air nightly to talk about issues in USA whilst this scribe reach out to the netizens with apolitical views on issues that interest him inclusive of global issues. In commenting to other blogs, he goes by the nick nightcaller with the callsign "Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are..."