Group moots letting trans people legally change their gender

A MyKad identification card reader in use at a POS Malaysia outlet in Bangi October 15, 2018. Justice for Sisters has recommended that trans and gender diverse people be allowed to change their gender on their legal documents based on their gender identity. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A MyKad identification card reader in use at a POS Malaysia outlet in Bangi October 15, 2018. Justice for Sisters has recommended that trans and gender diverse people be allowed to change their gender on their legal documents based on their gender identity. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Justice for Sisters has recommended that trans and gender diverse people be allowed to change their gender on their legal documents based on their gender identity.

They said this would be in line with the government’s vision of shared prosperity and commitment to leave no one behind.

The group also recommended that police officers and civil servants be trained in human rights and gender sensitisation to reduce the stigma and mistreatment against trans and gender diverse people.

“Cases of crimes against trans and gender diverse persons should be recorded based on their gender identity, instead of according to the assigned identity on the national registration identity card (NRIC),” they said in a statement today.

They said there was a lack of documentation and analysis of cases of crimes against trans and gender diverse people as the cases were recorded based on their gender listed in their NRIC.

They said the trans and gender diverse people were marginalised, neglected and experienced lack of security and safety which is compounded by exclusionary and non-evidence based statements by certain state authorities.

They suggested that the government implement the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women’s (CEDAW) Concluding Observation in relation to trans women.

This include adopting anti-bullying policies based on alternative strategies to address bullying such as counselling services and positive discipline along with raising awareness to promote equal rights of lesbians, bisexual women, transgender and intersex persons (LBTI) students.

“Amend all laws which discriminate against LBTI women, including the provisions of the Penal Code and Shariah laws that criminalise same-sex relations between women and ‘cross-dressing’,” they proposed.

They said the government should also apply a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination and violence against LBTI women and adequately prosecuting perpetrators.

They called on the government to expedite measures to discontinue all policies and activities which aimed to “correct” or “rehabilitate” LBTI women.

“Many trans women, especially sex workers, lack access to justice due to the multiple forms of criminalisation under the laws, state policies that promote ‘rehabilitation’, and the increasing social stigma, perception and attitudes towards transgender people,” they said.

They said rising cases of violence against trans and gender diverse people could be prevented if their recommended measures were put in place.

They claimed many trans and gender diverse people do not seek support and assistance due to traumatic experiences with the police and state officials so they had to resolve any cases of violence against them on their own.

They said this only deepened marginalisation against the trans and gender diverse people.

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