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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ex-PM Abott not happy with Malaysian hijab show sponsored by Aussie govt

Former PM says the department's move to sponsor the exhibition shows 'an unfortunate readiness to sell out mainstream Australian values'.
Tony-Abbott-1PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Tony Abbott yesterday slammed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for sponsoring an exhibition of Australian-made Islamic clothing in Malaysia.
In a report by The Australian daily, Abbott said he was “dismayed” that the department “should apparently be pandering to what can only be described as a very old-fashioned view on modesty”.
“To the extent that DFAT is getting into this space, it should be comforting people’s right to defy stifling orthodoxy, not to be coerced by it.
“Now I think this shows a very unfortunate readiness to sell out mainstream Australian values,” he was quoted as saying.
The exhibition, titled “Faith Fashion Fusion”, was developed by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, Australia. It ran from Nov 3 last year to Jan 28.
This was the first time it had toured internationally. The Malaysian launch was held in Kuala Lumpur with the support of the Australia-Asean Council and Lend Lease Projects (M) Sdn Bhd.
Abbott told The Australian that DFAT should drop its taxpayer-funded support for the exhibition, adding that he was “flabbergasted” at the department’s involvement.
“We want Australians to be free and open. We want them to show their face and if they want to show a bit of their arms and their legs and wear a bikini, well, we celebrate that, we don’t apologise for it,” he said.
However, designers such as Ilham A Ismail, whose designs were featured in the exhibition, welcomed the initiative.
“Australia is the most multicultural country in the world, and if we’re not promoting different parts of our society here, where would we?” she said in the report. -FMT

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