KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin told transgenders today to use their biological sex to determine which gender’s toilet to use, amid raging controversy over lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in the country.
He took to Facebook to dismiss the furore over the matter and appeared to mock those insisting on using the restrooms of genders other than that of their birth.
“I would like to suggest that if any individual is confused, it is recommended he meets an expert to examine him while he urinates to determine the origin of the urine.
“If it exits from a male organ, then use the men’s toilet. If it exits from a woman’s genitals, then please use the women’s toilet,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“If nothing comes out at all or if it does not come out from either male or female genitals, then please go to the hospital. If the doctors say you are disabled, then you can use the disabled toilet.”
He also suggested those unable to afford specialists should perform their own inspection of their genitals.
Controversy over the recognition of the LGBT community and their rights erupted last week after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa ordered the removal of two portraits featuring LGBT activists from the George Town Festival 2018.
The minister tried to smooth things over on Friday by meeting one of the affected activists, Nisha Ayub, but in the process made remarks that worsened the community’s outrage.
Among others, he commented on the topic here — the use of another gender’s toilet — but clarified today that he was giving his personal views and not issuing any orders on the matter.
Mujahid has found support among Islamic officials for his cool stance towards the LGBT community, which in turn has accused the government of abandoning them after winning the general election.
Malaysia does not criminalise LGBT behaviour per se but has laws that allow authorities to pursue some sections of the community, such as those against cross dressing.
The country also has colonial era laws that criminalise anal sex, among others, as carnal intercourse against the order of nature, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The law is, however, rarely used.