Recently a Facebook page was setup calling for the Singapore government to allow Muslim women to wear the hijab. The Islamic headscarf, also known as the tudung here in the region, is currently not allowed to be wore in public services.
Government leaders have weighed in on the issue, and as expected the answer is a “No”. I know they didn’t actually say “No” but Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean says that the Singapore government has to balance all the different community requirements and keep in mind what they need to do to maintain overall social harmony, and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim called for “constructive dialogue” as the way forward.
Let’s be honest; that’s a “No”.
I personally don’t see why not. Most Muslim women in Singapore wear the hijab nowadays and if they want to wear it to work, I personally don’t see why not. For one, it’s so common to see Muslim women wearing the hijab on the streets nowadays, I don’t think any Singaporeans would care if they did in while working. Also the wearing of religious headgear in public services is not without new. Sikh men in the Singapore Armed Forces or Police can wear the turban and in the past, nurses wore uniforms with the nursing cap. Although much changed now, nursing uniform was derived from the nun's habit.
So if Muslim women want to wear the hijab while working at public services, I say let them. To my mind, most Singaporeans would not care less.