ALOR STAR: Nineteen women were forced to sacrifice their crowning glory when they registered as trainees at the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Academy in Marang, Terengganu last month.
They had to endure having their heads shaved bald, like their male counterparts, after registering as trainees.
One of the women, Hizyaty Othman, 28, has since quit the department over the "hair today, gone tomorrow" incident.
She said when the trainees turned up at the Wakaf Tapai training camp on May 2, the female trainees were shocked when told that they would be required to shave their heads.
"According to the regulations, there was no need for the female trainees to go bald.
"Instead, it stated that we only needed to trim our hair by six millimetres on the first day, and again, after two months, until the completion of training.
"Thus, I was taken aback when I saw some female trainees being shaved bald, just like their male counterparts, in a room at the camp.
"Initially, the other female trainees and I refused to comply but after thinking about our future, we finally agreed," she told reporters at her house in Taman Berjaya here yesterday.
Her father, Othman Long, 63, said he was informed of the incident by his wife, Hizan Abu Bakar, 56.
"In my years as a uniformed personnel, I know that female trainees were only given a haircut, and not shaved bald," said the retired Customs Department officer.
He said he took his daughter out of the academy the day after her head was shaved before lodging a police report.
Kedah Caring Welfare, Education and Poverty Foundation chairman Zuraidi Rahim, who visited Hizyaty, said he had relayed the matter to Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung. -- Bernama