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

So what’s that about human rights? — Boo Su-Lyn

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Boo Su-Lyn is a feminist who loves reading fiction. She tweets at @boosulyn. Pic from the MMO.

Boo Su-Lyn is a feminist who loves reading fiction. She tweets at @boosulyn. Pic from the MMO.

DECEMBER 30 ― This year has seen widespread human rights violations in Malaysia, including attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, native rights, and the right to privacy.

The government appears to be increasingly intolerant of dissent and resorted to investigating trivial matters like the posting of “insulting” photos of leaders on WhatsApp, posting a video of a press conference, and various Facebook posts and tweets.

If Malaysia is serious about achieving developed nation status by 2020, then the government must acknowledge and respect basic human rights like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Without the space to express ideas and opinions, society cannot progress.

These are the top 8 human rights violations in the country in 2016, in no particular order: Read more

Malaysia’s Muslim trans community in a struggle for human rights

Source: SBS

BY MARCEL THEROUX

Malaysia’s transgender community finds itself on the front line of a struggle between civil society and an increasingly intrusive and moralistic version of Islamic law.

Image drawn from SBS

Shortly after midnight a white patrol van rolls out of the compound that houses the headquarters of Kuala Lumpur’s religious police. Inside are eight uniformed enforcement officers, seven men and one woman, whose navy blue uniform is set off by a multi-coloured tudung, or headscarf. The mood of the team is a strange combination of joviality and religious zeal.

Officer Akmal Adzin, a cheery, moon-faced man, is leading the patrol. “We have received complaints from members of the public about offenses relating to close proximity,” he tells me.

Under Malaysia’s version of Sharia law, the crime of khalwat or ‘close proximity’ between unmarried, unrelated Muslim members of the opposite sex is punishable by a fine of $US750 and up to two years in prison.

The patrol’s first stop is a budget hotel out in the suburb of Sungai Besi. At the reception desk, an employee obligingly prints out a list of all the Muslim hotel guests and the team ascends to the upper floors in a lift. Read more

Being transgender: Facts, myths and rights

Source: FMT News

Human Rights Watch counts 80 countries that continue to criminalize consensual same-sex relations or discussion of LGBT rights, with punishments including prison sentences, flogging, and even the death penalty. Pic taken from FMT News.

Human Rights Watch counts 80 countries that continue to criminalize consensual same-sex relations or discussion of LGBT rights, with punishments including prison sentences, flogging, and even the death penalty. Pic taken from FMT News.

WASHINGTON: Transgender people live under dramatically varying circumstances around the world — often facing violent repression, but also conquering crucial new rights most notably in Europe and the United States.

There are few reliable statistics on the community, in part because many transgender people around the world are unable to come out. And there are sometimes misunderstandings of the complex and changing vocabulary involved. 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

Malaysian activist Nisha Ayub is first transgender to win US Women of Courage award

Source: Asian Correspondent

Nisha Ayub accepting the International Women of Courage award from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: Twitter

Nisha Ayub accepting the International Women of Courage award from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: Twitter

MALAYSIA’S leading defender of trangender rights, Nisha Ayub, was a recipient of the prestigious International Women of Courage Award on Tuesday in Washington D.C.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the award to Nisha and 13 others in recognition for their courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress.

In his speech, Kerry lauded Nisha for standing up for Malaysia’s transgender community, which still faces violence, discrimination, and oppression.

He said that despite threats to her own safety, Nisha remained committed to her work because “it’s what she cares about and because she knows it’s the right thing to do”.

“Nisha Ayub – for your extraordinary work to promote societies that are more just, fair and tolerant, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, we honor you,” said Kerry. Read more