Hate crimes against trans people in Malaysia: A silent radicalisation? — Henry Koh

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY HENRY KOH

DECEMBER 13 — In the dark and early morning hours of February 23, 2017, 26-year-old Sameera Krishnan was making her way home through the streets of Kuantan in Pahang State. The next day, “Meera,” as she was known, was planning to celebrate her birthday with family and friends.

The relatively peaceful capital of Pahang was jolted by violence that night. Three armed men confronted and attacked Meera, severing four of her fingers, mutilating her scalp, and shooting her in the head at close-range three times. Meera died on the spot.

Her birthday ended up being a funeral. 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

Sexual orientation can be changed, Jakim says in new LGBT video

Source: Malay Mail Online

Jakim said to change one’s sexual orientation, one must intend to do so for God’s sake instead of being forced and repent one's homosexuality, in addition to leaving activities that would lead to same-sex relations. — AFP pic

Jakim said to change one’s sexual orientation, one must intend to do so for God’s sake instead of being forced and repent one’s homosexuality, in addition to leaving activities that would lead to same-sex relations. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The federal Islamic authorities have suggested that sexual orientation can be changed with extensive training, in a recent video explaining how Muslims can approach the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The 3:08-minute video in Malay language has since received mixed reception from some Malaysians, with several praising it as a softer strategy that does not promote hate against the maligned minority, while others felt it still fails to acknowledge the community.

“Fact is, there are those among Muslims that has non-heterosexual orientation but remains steadfast on the path of Islam.

“For them, this is a test of Allah, and they choose to face the test appropriate with what Islam demands,” said the video shared by social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi in a public post on his Facebook profile yesterday. Read more

Time to step out of the closet — Fa Abdul

Source: FMT

BY FA ABDUL

lgbt

Pic taken from FMT News

I would like to tell you a story about my friend, Adri. I met Adri for the first time at the theatre. I found him gentle, intelligent, sensitive and amazingly friendly. We clicked so well on our first meeting that we decided to keep in touch.

Within the first six months of our acquaintance, we went out often, visited each other’s homes and even cooked for each other. Our friendship blossomed within a short span of time.

However, in the weeks that followed, Adri seemed a little preoccupied and kept his distance – as if there was something on his mind, something troubling him. I tried to coax it out of him – but he remained clamped up.

Finally, after a couple of weeks, Adri had a change of heart. He called one night from out of the blue – it was past midnight and I was getting ready for bed. I heard his voice breaking on the other side and sniffles soon followed. Read more

Penang rep’s transgender committee finally formed

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Teh, who proposed the formation of the committee in 2014, said it was formed after eight other assemblymen agreed to join. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

Teh, who proposed the formation of the committee in 2014, said it was formed after eight other assemblymen agreed to join. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, May 17 ― DAP representative Teh Yee Cheu’s proposed transgender committee was finally realised in the Penang legislative assembly today.

The Tanjung Bungah assemblyman, who proposed the formation of the committee in 2014, said it was formed after eight other assemblymen agreed to join.

“The eight assemblymen have agreed to form the committee today so I would like to thank them for making this a reality,” he said in his debate on the motion of thanks to the Penang Governor’s speech. Read more

Raising awareness on the LGBTI people — Helen Clark

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MAY 17 — This year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia focuses on raising awareness of the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.

The global burden of disease from mental disorders is rising. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in gay/bisexual males is about four times that of comparable heterosexual males.

Research has shown conclusively that LGBT individuals show higher than expected rates of psychiatric disorders, but once their rights and equality are recognised these rates begin to drop.

There is growing recognition worldwide that same-sex sexual orientation and diverse gender identity and expression are not mental or physical disorders. Yet, many millions of LGBTI individuals around the world continue to face widespread stigma and discrimination, and many suffer violence and oppression.

This is cause for action. We can and we must do more. Read more

Learn from Filipino counterparts and engage with LGBT community, local police told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 ― A transgender rights group told local police today to engage with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBTQ) community here, highlighting the Philippines police force that has undergone sensitisation training with such groups.

Justice for Sisters expressed concern that Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim’s statement about not allowing openly LGBT people into the force, even if they are qualified, would further perpetuate homophobia and transphobia among police officers.

The group highlighted a report by international rights group Human Rights Watch that documented claims of police actions against trans people, such as sexual violence, arbitrary arrests based on gender identity, arbitrary urine tests, extortion of money or sexual favours, and lack of urgency and bias in investigating police reports lodged by transgender people.

“We call the Deputy IGP to understand the issues faced by LGBTQ persons, review his statements, and engage with LGBTQ groups in a meaningful way to address the issues faced LGBTQ persons in relation to the police,” said Justice for Sisters in a statement. Read more

International Women’s Day: Recognizing One Woman’s Fight for LGBT Rights in Malaysia

Source: Human Rights Campaign

LyanaKhairuddin

Lyana Khairuddin – pic taken from The Star Online

hrc-general-blog1600In honor of International Women’s Day, HRC Global is spotlighting women who are advancing equality around the globe, including Lyana Khairuddin, a self-described “HIV & AIDS advocate” from Malaysia. Lyana, a bisexual, Muslim woman who served as an HRC global fellow last fall, is working in Malaysia to fight discrimination and the spread of HIV & AIDS in her country.

“Navigating activism around LGBT rights is an uphill struggle,” she says. “There is a multidimensional complexity to discussing these issues, especially when there is an increasingly restricted space for expression. “

Lyana’s work in Malaysia is not easy. Many human rights challenges are plaguing Malaysia, including the right to gender expression and unfortunate incidences of violence and discrimination. Read more

Hak asasi manusia di Malaysia mundur dengan Akta MKN, kata Suhakam

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Hak asasi manusia di Malaysia makin mundur jika Rang Undang-undang Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) 2015 dijadikan sebahagian undang-undang negara, kata Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Hasmy Agam. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 3 Januari, 2016.

Malaysia akan semakin mundur daripada segi hak asasi manusianya jika Rang Undang-undang (RUU) Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) 2015 dijadikan sebahagian undang-undang negara, kata Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.

Dalam satu wawancara sebelum berakhirnya tempoh perkhidmatan beliau pada April, Hasmy berkata, beliau melihat hak asasi manusia di negara ini sekurang-kurangnya sejak 5 tahun lalu sehingga kini, tidak menyaksikan perubahan besar.

Ini kerana, langkah positif yang diambil seperti memansuhkan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) kemudiannya dibatalkan dengan penggubalan undang-undang baru yang menyekat kebebasan awam.

Komen Hasmy ini mengungkapkan satu tahun yang gelap daripada segi hak asasi manusia di Malaysia ketika Putrajaya mengukuhkan lagi undang-undang yang menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan pihak berkuasa mengambil tindakan keras terhadap pengkritik pentadbiran Najib.

“Setakat ini, kita (Malaysia) tidak banyak melakukan perubahan besar. Walaupun terdapat beberapa perkembangan positif seperti pemansuhan ISA, terdapat juga perubahan yang meletakkan kita jauh ke belakang dalam hak asasi manusia. Read more

Study links hookup apps for gays to HIV epidemic, but activists point to stigma

Source: The Malaysian Insider

A United Nations report found a surge of HIV infections among those aged between 10 and 19 in the Asia-Pacific region, and the epidemic is fastest growing among men who have sex with men. – Reuters pic, December 1, 2015.

In conjunction with World AIDS Day today, The Malaysian Insider looks at the use of dating apps such as Grindr, and whether claims that they spur the spread of HIV among homosexual men are true.

In Muslim-majority Malaysia, the gay community has long been demonised as a social ill, and conservatives have often linked it to Western-liberal values.

Yet despite the taboo, Grindr, Scruff, and Hornet – mobile apps that enable gay men hook up with one another are popular in the country.

Finding a gay partner on Grindr, for instance, is as simple as downloading the app onto your mobile phone, creating an account with your email, and scanning through the profile pictures. Read more