The internet was abuzz recently over an article about a Malaysia-based Dutch fashion designer, who expressed her opinion about the traditional Malay attire, Baju Kurung.
In an interview with South China Morning Post (SCMP), the designer, Lisette Scheers’ quote, “My dream is to see the Baju Kurung return, to see Malays dressing beautifully again. I want people here to feel proud of their heritage,” sparked massive backlash from netizens.
Lisette’s two cents, as aforementioned, didn’t sit well with local cybernauts. In this case, a lot of them argued that the statement given by the founder of Nala Designs was completely inaccurate. Apart from that, others called out Lisette for cultural appropriation and also being out of touch with reality.
The issue even caught Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Maimunah Iskandariah’s attention. “I wear Baju Kurung everyday, baju kurung Johor. And I’m proud with my handmade Baju Kurung Teluk Belanga. Yes, I totally agree. Be traditional and proud of it.” Her Majesty wrote on her Instagram. The post included Lisette’s controversial quote, though the Queen didn’t specifically mention her.
Scrolling through the comments, many Malaysians also agreed with Her Majesty’s view on the issue. A few also shared that they also don their Baju Kurung in various occasions, namely weddings, festive celebrations and even in their workplaces.
Not long after the controversy came to light, Lisette issued a public apology on Nala Designs’ official Instagram account. According to her, she has always regarded Malaysia as her “home” and will always love the country like no other.
Check out her full statement here: