In possibly a Malaysian political first, a transgender woman Hazreen Shaik Daud, has been appointed as political secretary to DAP’s Tanjung Bungah state assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu. The decision’s received backlash but Hazreen’s determined to help “Ubah” or change the mindsets of the public toward her community.
Malaysia has become known as a very hostile country for trans people even banning movies in which LGBT characters don’t repent or die symbolizing “good over evil”.
In Malaysia cross-dressing is not technically a crime. However, transgender individuals have often been arrested by police officers under the civil laws governing “public indecency”, and if they are Muslim, can be further charged by religious officers under Sharia Laws for “impersonating” women. For example, in 1998, forty-five Muslim transvestites were charged and convicted in court for dressing as women, and twenty-three more transgender persons faced similar fines and imprisonment in 1999. In 2012, a court upheld the ban on Muslim born males wearing women’s clothes. The High Court in Seremban rejected a bid by four Muslim transsexuals who were born male to declare the Shariah law unconstitutional.
It has been estimated that a large number of transgender persons are forced to work on the streets as commercial sex workers to earn a living.~ Wiki LGBT rights in Malaysia
Global Voices reports: Former NGO worker Hazreen Shaik Daud is Malaysia’s first transgender in politics after being appointed as political secretary to Tanjung Bungah state assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu of the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
The transgender committee will be formed in two months, and aims to collect data and alleviate the status and social stigma associated with the transgender community. Some of their activities will include public forums to spread awareness on the issue.
Hazreen will initially work in the committee but she will also be responsible for other issues as well such as politics, economy, culture, education, health, and human rights.
Published on May 20, 2013
PSA part 1: I Am A Picture Of You.
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