Malindo Air is mired in controversy after it reportedly requested its interviewees to strip down their tops in the March 11 walk-in interview, Malay Mail Online reported today.
Its public relations and communications director Raja Sa’adi Raja Amrin, however defended the move, saying it was the right of the employer to request potential flight attendants to expose their chests to interviewers.
He, however clarified the interviewees were required to remove their tops, but not bras as claimed by the complainants who went for the interviews.
The airline wanted to see if applicants had visible marks due to the material of Malindo’s uniform, as their uniforms were “partially see-through”, he was quoted as saying by the news portal.
“It is not an issue. We have the right to conduct such body checks on them. I think most airlines do the same,” he said, adding that this was a norm for most airlines as the cabin crew needed to be presentable.
“We need to see if they (applicants) have scars, pimples or tattoos that could be seen through the uniform. Our flight attendants wear a corset inside and if it is covered by the corset, it is okay,” he added.
Malindo Air’s stewardess are clad in either a high-collared white blouse or a white kebaya top paired with a sarong.
“We need to know if there are scars or any marks as you can see their legs when they walk,” he said, responding to question that the interviewees claimed they had to bare their legs thigh-high.
“The slit is also tailored in such a manner where it will enable flight attendants to move around easily, especially during an emergency,” he elaborated.
Malaysiakini has attempted to contact Raja Sa’adi and the airline’s CEO Chandran Rama Muthy for their comments.
‘Ridiculous and disgusting’
The interviewees, who served in other airlines, complained that they had never encountered such screening procedure and described this as “ridiculous and disgusting”.
The interviewees were told to expose their chests, lift their skirts, fold up their pants or remove their pantyhose, said Sherifah Muhazlisa Syed Mohd Bakar, cabin crew staff of Malaysia Airlines.
She recalled that her employer only asked those with long sleeves to roll up to check for tattoos and scars but never required them to remove their clothes.
“The official from the airline should know better,” she said.
Another flight attendant with AirAsia said it was unacceptable to ask female interviewees to remove their clothes to check their skin.
“My current employer asked if I had any tattoos or scars but I was never asked to take my clothes off,” he said on the condition of anonymity.
“The airline (AirAsia) will not have a problem with stewards or stewardess having tattoos or scars as long as they were covered by the uniform. This is the 21st century. No organisation should be asking their employees to remove their clothes. It is extremely derogatory,” he added.
“That is crazy! I do not understand why they would have to do that. Those girls are not there to show off their bodies,” said a flight attendant from Singapore Airlines.
Malindo Air posted the cabin crew walk-in interview on its Facebook page on March 3.