Friday sermonette: Could Abdullah Mat Nawi be right?

Ok today, I’ll avoid politics for a bit. I’ll play the Devil’s Advocate and give serious thought to YB Abdullah Mat Nawi from Tumpat. Allow me to ‘support’ PAS that our cabin crew uniforms are indeed too revealing.

Ok first things first, there is absolutely No connection between a woman’s Choice of dressing and crimes ok. Am not saying that robberies, muggings and/or rapes are the result of dressing so don’t misrepresent what I am trying to say.

Speaking of cabin crew uniforms, let’s just for a minute call a spade a spade and discuss the merits or demerits of the uniform itself. The next time you travel on MAS or AK or SQ or whatever Asian carrier, be honest when you ogle at the cabin crew. Is that how women ‘normally dress’ when going to work?

Folks, I tell you a secret as old as the civil aviation industry itself: Sex sells. And that mantra is strangely enough only applicable to women. Not men.

Now it’s understandable if you’re selling cars or beer or cigarettes since hum sup fellas are more generous with their wallets when they are well, hum sup. But what has aviation got to do with sex? And here’s the paradox. Because according to global regulations, the Only reason we have cabin crew is to allow evacuation of ALL passengers in 90 seconds. This is also why a plane has extra doors or exits. (Ever wondered why there are additional 2 exits near the wing which no one uses to get on or off?)

Now try to think as a PAYING passenger. What makes you Want to travel on an airline? It’s the reliability of the service, right? Meaning no delays, technical issues, shitty legroom, crappy announcements, bad service etc. right?

Now what happens if an airline gives you delays and bad service but prides itself as an airline with the hottest stewardess? Kinda stupid again right?

Anyway, I’ll leave it to our brilliant airline CEOs to explain what has the tightness of the clothing or length of the skirts got to do with getting people off safely in 90 seconds! But what I can tell you is this: Many of the stewardesses are themselves uncomfortable with their own attire. These are some of the common complaints I got from my own cabin crew in AK.

1. Stewardess keeps pulling her skirt up and trying to cover herself when the order “Cabin Crew be seated for takeoff” comes. (Note that the “Be seated for takeoff” thingy is not a request but an Order for the cabin crew to silently review their evacuation protocols). So their hands are supposed to be under their thighs as procedures dictate. Now imagine how stupid it looks when both hands are crossed on the middle instead because the skirt is too short and some randy uncle is trying to take a peek!

2. Stewardess walking around with torn stockings and getting reprimanded by her “grooming instructor”. When I ask why, she replies “Aiyooh Capt, susah la. Kita panjat kerusi bersihkan nasi lemak kat tingkap. Of course pantyhose koyak laa. Kena beli pantyhose sendiri tau?”

3. Stewardesses complaining to me that the airline CCM sent an email asking them to wear “G-string” because the normal panties “shows” through their uniform. My question is: Is your airline supposed to provide service and comfort to passengers? Or to show your butt to them?

4. Stewardesses coming into the cockpit with red eyes, complaining of mata kering after wearing mascara & fake eyelashes for 6 hours!” When I ask what's with the Bollywood colour-contact lenses in low cabin pressure, I get “Nak buat apa Capt? Ada grooming check hari ni.”

Folks, let’s stop kutukking PAS and for once, admit the facts here. Yes yes, stewardesses can be pretty or sexy (my wife is also pretty and sexy so no big deal) but really, are their uniforms PRACTICAL for airline operations (forget the religious morality argument)? If they need to wash toilets, climb up seats to clean them, run up and down the stairs 12 times per day, push carts and service trolleys AND kick your asses out in 90 seconds when it catches fire – why can’t they wear Jeans and tees??

Look at European and North American carriers. Yes the stewardesses there look all makcik-y but so what? (An airline CEO who recently made fun of them needs to only take a good look at the mirror himself).

Because trust me, if the plane catches fire or there’s smoke in the cabin, the LAST thing you’ll give a shit about is how "unsexy" or "makcik-y" they look.

So I have to say this: Well said, YB Abdullah Mat Nawi.

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