Home Civil Society Voices Transgender persons deserve equal protection

Transgender persons deserve equal protection

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The Malaysian Bar is concerned by the recent report that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, has given “full licence” to the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) to act against transgender persons.

While the minister has stated that the order is not just about arrest but also to provide religious education, so that the transgender community will return to the right path, the Malaysian Bar is concerned that his statement may create fear of repercussion among the transgender community.

As resolved in its 2005 annual general meeting, the Malaysian Bar acknowledges the inherent dignity and equality of all human persons, irrespective of ethnicity, race, religious belief, colour, gender or language.

Transgender persons are Malaysians who deserve equal protection under Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution and with rights acknowledged under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or other international instruments.

The minister had, in the past, as the Federal Territories mufti, engaged the transgender community on many occasions to listen to the challenges faced by them.

Given his previous engagement with the transgender community, the Malaysian Bar calls upon the minister to reflect on his statement and to consider reviewing his instructions to the religious authorities.

Salim Bashir is president of the Malaysian Bar

This piece dated 13 July 2020 is reproduced from here and has been edited for style only.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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22 Jul 2020 8.00am

Minister should not arrest or penalise these transgender. They are equal in the eyes of the law and have rights. Help them if you can and like. Do not abuse your power! They need assistance.

Lim Siew Lan
Lim Siew Lan
22 Jul 2020 6.32am

Huhu back to stone age🤔Transgender kah LGBTQ kah all are born equal. Each time i say this sentence at times i receive backlash from stone aged mentality readers who is katak di bawah tempurung assuming i must have such a someone in my relatives or circles but honestly i don judge people by the type or colour of skin and creed. Having had experienced at one time being actively engaged in the fight against injustice alongside many comrades just like yourself Aliran together with various groups and NGOs like yourself, such discrimination to have came from a religious authority -person just proves that Malaysia have slid down the aisles and far from being fair, just and corrupt free nation to one which is discriminative and punitive

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