NDR 2021: Do not pressure nurses to wear the tudung, says Masagos

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said healthcare organisations will provide affected nurses with the necessary support and counselling.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said healthcare organisations will provide affected nurses with the necessary support and counselling.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Muslim nurses who do not wish to wear the tudung should not be pressured to do so, or be judged by their decision, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli on Sunday (Aug 29).

He said he was confident that Muslim nurses here would put the care of their patients first, whether or not they decide to don the tudung as part of their uniform.

Putting pressure on others is against the teachings of Islam, he added. "We frown upon (the behaviour) to force anyone to practise our religion, to believe in particular aspects of our doctrines," he said.

The minister gave his assurance that healthcare organisations will provide affected nurses with the necessary support and counselling.

Mr Masagos was speaking to reporters virtually after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in his National Day Rally speech that Muslim nurses in the public healthcare sector will be allowed to wear tudungs with their uniforms from November.

On Sunday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Maliki Osman who also took questions on the tudung was asked if the Government would consider allowing students to wear the tudung in school. This is currently not allowed.

Mr Maliki, who is also Second Minister for Education, said there are reasons why Singapore has a clear uniform policy in its schools. "We want to make sure that the students grow up understanding and appreciating commonalities, than differences."

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