KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The prime minister appeared stunned when told about the appointment of Rania Zara Medina as a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Malaysia.

Rania is said to be the first transwoman to be appointed in the national committee under the Health Ministry.

“What transgender? Did you examine her? Are you sure she is a transgender?” Dr Mahathir retorted cheekily when asked for his comment on the stereotype-busting appointment during a press conference in Parliament today.

“I don’t know how she is a transgender, I have not met her,” he added.

Yesterday, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said Rania’s appointment as a member of CCM for the 2019-2021 session was based on existing procedure.

Dr Lee said that all 25 CCM members represent different stakeholders, such as government agencies, non-governmental organisations, academic members and community representatives, from the target population.

He said the target population includes transgenders, men who have sex with men, female sex workers, people who use drugs, and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV).

Rania’s appointment went viral on social media after she posted her letter of appointment, signed by Dr Lee, on Facebook.

The post was dated June 25, in which it said her appointment would come into effect July 1.

*Editor's note: Rania's name was misspelt as Raina previously. Malay Mail apologises for the unintended error.