Dignity for Meera — Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

Tragic end: Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Tragic end: Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan. Pic taken from The Star Online.

FEBRUARY 27 —This past week, we have been sickened by the case of Sameera Krishnan. A worker at a florist, she was attacked by masked individuals who repeatedly shot and slashed her with an edged weapon resulting in severe wounds to her head, arms and legs. She did not survive the attack. Her body was found in the wee hours of the morning.

The reasons behind such brutality and her murder can only be speculated at this point. The degree of cruelty and savagery needed to inflict such harm on another human being is often unable to be understood or seen unless you work in criminology or law enforcement.

But for many who work who work in the area of human rights, particularly dealing with sexuality, acts of abuse and violence can be an altogether familiar story.

While this incident has been considered by police to not be a hate crime, I want to take this opportunity to once again to highlight the incidences of harassment, discrimination and abuse experienced by the transgender community.

The Federal Constitution guarantees the protection of minorities against the tyranny of the majority. It provides for all Malaysians the same fundamental rights and protections. That all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection. A person shouldn’t and cannot be singled out or criminalised for simply being who and what they are.

I hope that there will be justice for Meera and that the authorities will do all that they can to find, capture and bring the perpetrators to court. But it can be a daunting task for members of this community to look for justice when they themselves are often victims of persecution. Read more

NRD wins appeal bid to stop transgender from changing IC details

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 5 — The Court of Appeal today allowed an appeal by the government to set aside a High Court ruling which granted a woman who underwent a gender reassignment surgery to change his identity card details.

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel led by Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam said there was merit in the National Registration Department (NRD) director-general’s appeal against the 30-year-old respondent who now looks like a man.

“We have read the submissions and after holding a discussion, we have come to a unanimous decision that there is a merit in the appeal.

“With this, we allow the appeal and set aside the ruling by the High Court,” Zakaria said, adding that the written grounds of judgment will be provided later.

Malay Mail Online is not disclosing the transgender’s identity to protect his privacy.

On July 18 last year, the NRD was ordered by the High Court to declare the transgender a man, on grounds that he has a constitutional right to life under Article 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

According to past news reports of the ruling, the constitutional concept of “life” accords the transgendered respondent the right to live with dignity as a male and be legally accorded judicial recognition as a male. Read more

She is a he – even on paper

Source: The Star Online

A new chapter: Transgender activists celebrating outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Nov 7, 2014, when three Malaysian transgender women won a landmark bid to overturn an Islamic anti-crossdressing law. — AFP

A new chapter: Transgender activists celebrating outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Nov 7, 2014, when three Malaysian transgender women won a landmark bid to overturn an Islamic anti-crossdressing law. — AFP

REMEMBER that time your parents made you wear a shirt or dress to a function and you were uncomfortable the entire time – maybe it was scratchy or it was the wrong size or it was out of fashion.

Whatever it was, when you came home, you peeled that “outer skin” off.

Now, imagine living inside a female body 24/7 when you feel like a male or vice versa and not being able to peel your skin off.

Science has advanced so much one can reassign one’s gender surgically but the Legislature and Courts in many countries still refuse to let a person who has had a sex-change change his/her name/sex on a piece of paper if his/her chromosome was the same as at birth.

The High Courts in Malaysia have been unsettled on whether to recognise gender reassignment on an applicant’s birth certificate or MyKad the last 15 years, there are more decisions “against” than “for”.

In 2013, the Court of Appeal’s decision re Kristie Chan ruled in favour of “against” and it seemed to settle the law.

However, XYZ , who was represented by counsel William Lim and Muhammad Izzat Md Jonid, had a stab at it and on July 18, the Kuala Lumpur High Court scored one for the trans community.

XYZ, who was born a female, obtained a declaration that he was now a man. Read more

Malaysia: Court Ruling Sets Back Transgender Rights

Source: Human Rights Watch

HRWlogo‘Oppressive and Inhuman’ Cross-Dressing Ban Restored

(Washington, DC) – In overturning a landmark ruling, Malaysia’s highest court has undermined the rights of transgender people in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 8, 2015, the Federal Court reversed a lower court ruling that a state’s prohibition on “cross-dressing” was unconstitutional. On wholly procedural grounds, the Federal Court upheld Sharia laws prohibiting “a male person posing as a woman.”

The judicial decision is a serious setback in a four-year struggle by transgender activists to end arbitrary arrests of transgender women on the basis of discriminatory laws, Human Rights Watch said. Read more

Trio’s bid on anti-cross dressing law unravels

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court ended three transgenders’ bid to declare an anti-cross dressing law unconstitutional, on a technicality.

The panel, led by Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, allowed the Negri Sembilan state government’s preliminary objection that the wrong mode was used to mount a legal challenge.

The three had filed a judicial review to the Seremban High Court for a declaration that Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 was unlawful.

“The Court of Appeal and High Court were in grave error in entertaining the respondents to question the validity of Section 66,” said Justice Md Raus.

He found that such an application could only be addressed by the Federal Court directly.

“For the reasons above, we allow the appeal solely on the preliminary issues raised,” ruled Justice Md Raus. Read more

Cubaan transgender untuk semakan kehakiman tidak sesuai

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Mahkamah Persekutuan hari ini memutuskan Mahkamah Rayuan tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa untuk mengisytiharkan peruntukan dalam Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Undang-undang Negeri Sembilan sebagai tidak berperlembagaan. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 8 Oktober, 2015.

Mahkamah Rayuan tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa untuk mengisytiharkan peruntukan dalam Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Undang-undang Negeri Sembilan sebagai tidak berperlembagaan, demikian diputuskan oleh Mahkamah Persekutuan, hari ini.

Panel 5 hakim diketuai Presiden Mahkamah Rayuan Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif berkata ia kerana 3 transgender menggunakan prosedur perundangan yang salah untuk memulakan tindakan mereka.

Sehubungan itu, mahkamah memutuskan permohonan semakan kehakiman yang difailkan 3 pak andam itu, Muhamad Juzaili Mohd Khamis, 28; Shukor Jani, 29; dan Wan Fairol Wan Ismail, 30, selaku responden, untuk mencabar kesahan Seksyen 66 enakmen tersebut tidak sesuai kerana gagal mematuhi kaedah prosedur.

Mengikut Seksyen 66 Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Negeri Sembilan 1992, lelaki berlagak seperti perempuan dan memakai pakaian perempuan di tempat awam adalah melakukan satu kesalahan dan hendaklah apabila disabitkan dikenakan hukuman denda maksimum RM1,000 atau penjara maksimum 6 bulan, atau kedua-dua sekali.

Raus berkata transgender tersebut seharus memohon kebenaran daripada seorang hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan untuk memulakan petisyen kerana mereka mencabar kuasa perundangan badan perundangan negeri yang menggubal undang-undang syariah dan bukan cara melalui semakan kehakiman.

Berikutan keputusan itu, Seksyen 66 enakmen tersebut adalah berperlembagaan dan sah. Read more

Court of Appeal wrong to declare religious law unconstitutional, rules Federal Court

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court ruled today that the Court of Appeal made a mistake in declaring section 66 of the Negri Sembilan Shariah Criminal Enactment as unconstitutional in the case of three transgenders. – Reuters pic, October 8, 2015.

The Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to declare that a provision in the Negri Sembilan Islamic criminal enactment as unconstitutional as three transgenders had used the wrong legal procedure to start their action, the Federal Court ruled today.

A five-man bench led by Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, who delivered the unanimous judgments, said the trio should have gone to the Federal Court as they were challenging the competency of the state legislature to make laws. Read more