Health minister: Transwoman Rania to stay on as CCM rep, no need for review

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad visits a booth during the launch of an Orang Asli oral hygiene programme at Kampung Orang Asli Menderang 1 in Sungkai July 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad visits a booth during the launch of an Orang Asli oral hygiene programme at Kampung Orang Asli Menderang 1 in Sungkai July 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

SUNGKAI, July 11 — The Health Ministry will not review the appointment of transwoman Rania Zara Medina as a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Malaysia for the 2019-2021 session despite being pressured to do so.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said that selecting a representative from the target group, which in this case the trans community, and appointing one of its members as a CCM member has been the standard practice since the previous administration.

“The appointment of Rania was done in accordance with the law and based on the standard operating procedure. There is no need to review or reconsider the appointment,” he told reporters after launching the Orang Asli teeth icon programme at Kampung Orang Asli Menderang 1 here.

“Anyone can suggest that the appointment should be reconsidered and we will go through it, but in this case, Rania’s appointment followed the law so there will not be any changes,” he added.

Rania’s appointment created a stir among the Opposition bloc as a few women leaders, especially from Umno and PAS, demanded an explanation and urged the government to review the appointment.

Wanita Umno chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad yesterday demanded the government explain why a transwoman was named to the Health Ministry’s CCM committee.

“Rania is known as a fighter for lesbians, gays, bisexuals dan transsexuals, and such unnatural lifestyles as practised by these individuals are in opposition to societal norms,” Noraini said.

While PAS Muslimat chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh said that Rania has no business being on the committee for CCM and questioned how the appointment could happen in the first place.

“How Rania, as a transgender, be able to give her views on handing the HIV/AIDS disease when one of the main causes of the disease is same-sex relation?” Nuridah asked.