Police uniform change 'on hold'

Police uniform change 'on hold'

A proposed change to the uniform worn by parliament police will be put on hold after it ran into opposition from critics who called it unnecessary during a time of economic difficulty.

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said on Monday he issued a provision in a parliament president announcement delaying procurement of the new uniforms which is now likely to go ahead during the next parliament.

Mr Chuan issued the original announcement on changing the parliamentary police uniform on June 12, saying changes were needed to make it look more suitable in modern society.

The announcement governed the procurement of the new uniform despite the current uniform having only been in use for about six months.

Opponents called it "unnecessary" and "unjustified" during an economically difficult time.

Mr Chuan yesterday responded by saying the push for the change came mainly from the police.

To resolve the row, he said he added a provision to the parliament president announcement stating that the current uniform will remain for a while longer.

"The provision in the announcement may not take effect during my tenure [as parliament president]," Mr Chuan said.

Earlier, senior officials responsible for parliament's security called for an internal meeting to sound out opinions from related units which mostly agreed a change of uniform at the present time would not be appropriate and that there was nothing wrong with keeping the current uniform, according to a parliament source.

Supporters of the change, however, insisted the uniform should be restyled to keep up with modern times.

The meeting also suggested only a minor change be made to the current uniform in order to save on costs.

Changing the uniform's epaulettes was suggested as a cheaper option as the current uniform was only recently introduced, the source said.

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