The local franchise of The Body Shop in Malaysia recently put up a job posting in one of its stores that the branch was exclusively hiring ethnic Chinese candidates only. The job posting was brought to attention by Facebook user, Kishaniah Dhamodaran, who posted a picture of the advertisement on the social media platform and asked an explanation for this discriminatory behaviour.
The post went viral amongst netizens and in a quick response, The Body Shop Malaysia issued a public apology on Facebook and Twitter where it condemned the job posting. The brand commented: “We understand your concern and frustration. We are understandably furious ourselves. Under no circumstances do we condone the amendment to this sign, and any such actions by any of our colleagues.”
In a statement to A+M, a spokesperson from the company said the brand has “reiterated the importance of its policy of equality during all [its] retail meetings.” She added the brand “felt heartened by the many statements from our staff expressing how this act does not reflect at all the culture of inclusiveness of The Body Shop that they experience every day.”
“We hope this clarifies things. We have always valued diversity and equal opportunity in our business, and we encourage you to drop by any one of our stores to see our values in action for yourself.”
It added: “As an international company and also a brand which has campaigned against discrimination of any kind in Malaysia for over 30 years, our hiring policy is based on experience, aptitudes and skills. We have always and will always hire people of all ethnicities and gender. It is indeed a constant uphill task to change mindsets, and to continue nurturing the culture of inclusiveness that we have so painstakingly built over the years, even as we continue to grow The Body Shop family in Malaysia. But we will never give up – even if mistakes like this do happen!”
Commenting on this issue in Free Malaysia Today, lawyer Annou Xavier said: “Every time you open the vacancies page in a Chinese or Malay paper and see ads stating ‘Melayu sahaja’ or ‘Chinese only’, you should know they are going against Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.”
Xavier also added that the Federal Constitution specifically stated that all were equal before the law and could not be discriminated by race, religion or gender.
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