Malaysian transgender conversion plan sparks alarm

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 ― A Malaysian state plans to run a conversion therapy course aimed at transgender women, officials said today, sparking alarm among LGBT activists in the conservative Muslim-majority country.

The course would run over several days next year after authorities had completed a survey of the transgender population, a Terengganu state official said.

Participation in the course would be voluntary, Ghazali said, adding that the programme would include medical, psychological and religious experts, as well as transgender women who have “returned to normal lives”. Read more

Learn about us first, transgender activist tells Terengganu over proposed rehab course

Source: The Malay Mail Online

LGBT activist Nisha Ayub — Pic taken from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — A transgender activist has lashed at Terengganu state executive committee member Ghazali Taib for proposing an “awareness course” aimed at bringing the community “back to the right path”.

Nisha Ayub from Justice for Sisters said today that state authorities should first educate themselves on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and the history of the community here, before even trying to organise any outreach programme.

“Stop assuming that you can change a person into the mould of your own beliefs or understanding. This is not about a puppet but about a human being,” Nisha said in a statement on her Facebook page. Read more

She strives to help marginalised communities in Malaysia

Source: Star2

Through Justice for Sisters, Thilaga Sulathireh hope to raise public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution of the Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Through Justice for Sisters, Thilaga Sulathireh hope to raise public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution of the Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Thilaga Sulathireh is brimming with hope. The 30-year-old activist believes there is more support now for the LGBT community, a most vulnerable group in society.

“We see a lot of cis-gender, hetrosexual people speaking out against the discrimination the LGBTQ community faces and that’s really a positive step in our activism. There are limitations in Malaysia when it comes to talking about gender identity. Yet, people want to talk about it now. This is really encouraging and something we cherish.

“Take the recent murder of Sameera (in Kuantan recently) as an example … there was a huge public outcry not just within the trans community but from the general public,” says the co-founder of Justice for Sisters, a group formed to raise awareness on violence and persecution against the transgender community in Malaysia.

Thilaga’s activism began when she began volunteering with the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) as a teenager. Read more

Court reversal on transgender ruling shows ‘wilful ignorance’, rights group says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Malaysia’s transgender community criticised today the Court of Appeal’s recent overturn of a ruling granting a trans man the right to change his registration details and be formally identified as a male.

The group and its allies, which called themselves Justice for Sisters, said the decision wilfully disregards current scientific and medical understanding of gender identity, as well as the realities and lived experiences of transgender people.

“It also displays a wilful ignorance of good practices worldwide with regards to the role of the state in its duty to uphold and protect the rights of transgender persons,” it said in a statement. Read more

Women’s groups demand Shariah law review after JAWI raid on transgenders

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 ― Women’s rights groups called today for a review of the Shariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 after religious authorities raided a charity dinner by the transgender community.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), which now includes transgender rights group Justice for Sisters (JFS), also questioned the ethical standards of the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) that is purportedly planning to charge a trans woman under the Shariah law with encouraging vice and with defying religious authorities.

“JAWI’s actions are clearly un-Islamic as it was aimed to intimidate and humiliate the transgender community in Malaysia,” said JAG in a statement.

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

“JAG once again, calls on the state to review the SCOA as the catch-all provisions in the Act have allowed for wide interpretation and abuse by enforcement officers.

“JAWI or other state religious authorities cannot be allowed to continuously undermine the Federal Constitution because of the misguided perception that they are guardians of Islam and morality in Malaysia,” the group added. Read more

Treat transgender detainees humanely, group tells police

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Star Online reported Friday that 12 “transvestites” were arrested in George Town for various offences, including gang robbery and cross-dressing. File picture shows a general view of George Town. — Picture by K.E.Ooi

The Star Online reported Friday that 12 “transvestites” were arrested in George Town for various offences, including gang robbery and cross-dressing. File picture shows a general view of George Town. — Picture by K.E.Ooin

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — A transgender group urged the police today to accord humane treatment to trans women who were recently arrested in Penang.

Justice for Sisters also called for the repeal of laws that criminalise transgender people, after it was reported that six of the dozen trans women arrested last Thursday were investigated under Section 28 of the Penang Shariah Criminal Enactment 1996 for cross-dressing.

“These laws are not only discriminatory and violate fundamental human rights of transgender persons — including right to self-determination, freedom of movement and freedom of expression — but these laws are also open to abuse.

“In this case, although the women were asleep while they were arrested in their hotel rooms, they are still being investigated under Section 28,” Justice for Sisters said in a statement. Read more