Social media has been abuzz with news of a local blogger who claimed that the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is implementing gender segregation on passengers
Detailing the incident on her blog, Nicole Tan shared about her own experience when she was about to pass through the security check at the boarding gate to catch a Malindo Air flight to Bangkok, Thailand yesterday, 29 June.
"Population of Malaysian travellers now are subjected to queueing based on genders. Yes, just like in the Middle East," she wrote.
Tan said that passengers on her flight were made to queue in two lines according to their respective genders. She also pointed out that one particular female passenger was asked to "move away from the line meant for male passengers".
She noted that some people have suggested that this system is more efficient to carry out pat-down security checks on passengers.
However, she argued that there were about three times more female passengers than male passengers for the particular flight and that the other line for male passengers was empty so the male officials "were just standing there being idle".
The issue immediately became a topic of discussion as netizens have divided views on the matter
Some local netizens said that this could be a sign of how Malaysia is slowly becoming a 'Taliban nation'.
Others criticised KLIA and said that this would bring inconvenience for travellers and hoped that such system will not be implemented because it is inefficient.
Quite a number of people pointed out there could be several practical reasons for this, including a more seamless system to ensure that passengers are provided a screener of the same gender when the need for a pat-down check arises, and the absence or shortage of security officers on duty during this festive season.
It was also highlighted that this practice is not unusual at other international airports in the world as more airport operators have opted to implement women-only security lanes that are expected to help cut queues in general.
However, some contended that passengers should be allowed to queue at whichever line they want, but security officers can only pat-down passengers according to respective gender, rather than separating passengers into two different lines based on gender.
Meanwhile, some netizens have also come forward to say that they've shared a similar experience, although not all of them went through it at KLIA
SAYS has reached out to Malaysia Airports for further clarification regarding the incident
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad is the airport operator for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Penang International Airport, Kuching International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport, amongst others.
When contacted, Malaysia Airports has clarified that it certainly does not impose gender segregation on passengers.
"Kindly be informed that we are checking on the matter mentioned as it is certainly not a policy that is practised in our airport," it said in an initial message to SAYS.
Malaysia Airports did not provide any other comment, but said that a representative will get in touch with SAYS to provide more information on the matter soon.
Do you think introducing special lanes based on gender will help to create a better experience for passengers at airports? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.