It is a blissful historical day for the Transgender Community of Malaysia as they celebrated the winning on the appeal against “cross-dressing” rulings, or known as the Section 66 where the ruling against male cross-dressing as female were executed onto Transwomen, which is now is void.
The on going argument with 2 different courts that started since 2nd February 2011 which ended on 7th November 2014 has finally been decided by 3 panel judges at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The judges has confirmed that Section 66 is unconstituional and binded the freedom of expression as well as the human rights.
The first hearing at the High Court of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia was left with a disappointment as the High Court decision saying that the section 66 was consistent with the Federal Constitution and section 66 is still being kept used to criminalized Transwoman as individual who “cross dressed”.
After a year, an appeal against section 66 has been filed for the second time, at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya. The first hearing was held at 22nd May 2014 and the second hearing was held at 17th July 2014. The Court of Appeal ruled that section 66 was unconstitutional and void because it violated the appellants’ rights to live with dignity, earn a livelihood, and directly affects their freedom of movement, expression, and equal protection of the law. The court stated that transgender people “will commit the crime of violating section 66 the very moment they leave their homes to attend to the basic needs of life, to earn a living, or to socialize; and be liable to arrest, detention and prosecution. This is degrading, oppressive and inhuman. It is discriminatory and oppressive and denies the appellants the equal protection of the law.”
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
What it meant to live under section 66