Thu, 11 Jul 2013 03:30:00 GMT

Penang State backbencher employs first transgender

Steering committee head for Transgender Community’s Welfare appoints ‘her’ as political secretary.


Carolyn Khor

Seen as yet another first for Penang and perhaps Malaysia, a transgender has been engaged to assist Teh Yee Cheu oversee the transgender community’s welfare, after the proposal was tabled and approved in the State Assembly last week.

Teh who is the Tanjung Bungah representative, heads the panel with the support of both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan National representatives, including State opposition leader, Jahara Hamid.

The committee, set to be formed within two months, aims to collect data and alleviate the status and social stigma associated with the transgender community. The committee plans to also conduct forums and spread public awareness on the issue.

“…they have rights over their bodies, and have a right to decide what gender they are most comfortable with,” said Teh.

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At a press conference today (10/7/13), Teh, who proudly claims to walk the talk, announced that he had engaged transgender Hazreen Shaik Daud as his political secretary.

“I am thankful to YB Teh for giving me the opportunity to work with him,” said Hazreen, a 33 year old diploma holder who speaks fluent Mandarin and English besides the national language. Hazreen is expected to assume duties on July 15 and had previously worked for an NGO known as the Penang Family Health Development.

The demure and pretty ‘lady’ revealed her concerns over employment opportunities available to the transgender.

“Even with qualifications, we are turned down just because of how we look,” she said, adding that she would eventually want to operate her own boutique.

An edict, issued by the Fatwa Committee National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia held on 13th December 1989, had declared that sex change was prohibited under the Shariah. According to Chong Eng, facilitator to the committee who also holds the State EXCO portfolio for Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development claims that there are between 10 and 50 thousand transgender persons in Malaysia.

(Continued)
11Comments
Jul 11, 2013 12:48AM
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A big 'YES' to Penang state government.  Transgender  are human too, and should be treated as such.  Just because their have different preference from you and me doesn't make them any less human.  
Jul 11, 2013 1:39AM
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I give "BIG YES" to Penang state government too...!!!  well done....!
Jul 11, 2013 4:59AM
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But of course, bravo - Anwar must be credited for this good idea probably.  Other states should think of this too.  Anwar should bring it up at the Parliament as these people are voters & citizens too.
Jul 11, 2013 1:17PM
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we shld not discriminate LGBT community just bcoz they are diff, its just a woman trap in
a man body. their existence do not deprive us anythg, hurt us, degrade or any othrs so just
take a step back let them a space and most important respect them

Jul 11, 2013 1:22PM
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not all man are rapist but all rapists are man, so be relieve if your daughter or sisters are with
this community.

Jul 11, 2013 7:03PM
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      Transgenders should not be denied the right to live like women if they choose. They can't live like males even if they try to. They are different. Ordinary men would rather die than put on dresses and make up everyday.
      Not every transgender has to ply the street nigtly to offer special services or be beauticians for the bride because of his effeminate behaviour if only society allows him. He is real, like you and me. So if he comes from his mother's womb, he should not be ostracized like the plague or swept under the carpet. 
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