Stop the Violence and Persecution: Press Statement by the Mak Nyah Community of Malaysia

An appeal to all who believe in freedom under the Federal Constitution, human rights, non-discrimination and equality, to join the call for the stop of targeted persecution and violence towards our Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. The Mak Nyah community is being persecuted by Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment and suffer physical and sexual violations at the hands of religious officers who enforce those laws.

Press Statement by the Mak Nyah Community of Malaysia

Stop the Violence and Persecution Against Us

We are the Mak Nyah community and we are being persecuted by Section 66 on “Lelaki berlagak seperti perempuan” of the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Negeri Sembilan) 1992 (please refer to this section and similar sections in other states in Malaysia in Appendix 1).

We have suffered mental distress, physical violence and sexual molestation at the hands of the religious officers who enforce these laws. We are stripped of a life of dignity and deprived of our personal liberty, and we fear for our lives. We are unable to step out of our homes without the fear of getting harassed, abused or arrested. We are no longer able to go out or to eat and drink in public without the fear of harassment and abuse from the religious officers who enforce these laws.

We demand that the religious authorities of the State of Negeri Sembilan and all its officers stop harassing, victimising and persecuting us for who we are.

In Negeri Sembilan where we live, we are forced to walk around without our brassieres as it is used as evidence against us upon arrest. We are “advised” by the religious officers to just wear t-shirts, track bottoms or men’s shorts. Despite following these instructions, we are still arrested on the basis that we physically look like women. We are sexually molested or our breasts are groped when the religious officers who enforce these laws insist on checking if we are wearing brassieres. We are sometimes made to change our clothes in full view of the religious officers.

We are instructed to plead “Guilty” by the religious officers and even by the state’s Legal Aid Bureau. Without proper legal advice, we plead “guilty” and as a result we are sentenced with heavy fines and sometimes we even face imprisonment. Under such laws, it is impossible for us to live and earn a living. Sometimes, we are also compelled to attend mandatory religious counseling sessions.

We are Mak Nyahs. No amount of “counseling” or coercion can ever change that. All we ask is to be left alone and for respect of our personal and private lives. Such mandatory counseling we consider to be an infringement of our personal liberty.

We also suffer hardships in obtaining employment as we are discriminated against by employers on the basis of who we are. We suffer rejection in schools and in some institutions of higher learning. At the latter, we are sometimes required to attend boot camps in order to make us more “manly.”

As Mak Nyahs, we have the right to live with dignity like all citizens in Malaysia. We have the right to our identity, the right to self-expression in our dress and mannerisms, the right to respect for our personal and private life and the right to livelihood as other citizens in Malaysia. These are our fundamental liberties as enshrined in Articles 5, 8 and 10 of the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Any law that violates our rights arbitrarily is no longer good law.

These are also violations of our human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Jogjakarta Principles on human rights relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.

We ask the Legislative assemblymen of Negeri Sembilan, the Negeri Sembilan Religious Department Directors and all other Malaysian elected representatives and leaders to stop the violence and persecution that has been targeted against our Mak Nyah community.

We appeal to all who believe in freedom under the Federal Constitution, human rights, non-discrimination and equality, to stand with us and join us in our call for the stop the targeted persecution and violence towards our Mak Nyah community in Malaysia.

The Mak Nyah Community of Malaysia


Appendix 1

Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment of other states in Malaysia which have been used to persecute the Mak Nyah community

ENAKMEN 4 TAHUN 1992 ENAKMEN JENAYAH SYARIAH NEGERI SEMBILAN 1992

BAHAGIAN IV – KESALAHAN Darihal kesalahan mengenai kehormatan diri

Seksyen 66. Lelaki berlagak seperti perempuan. Mana-mana orang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan atau berlagak seperti perempuan di mana-mana tempat awam adalah melakukan satu kesalahan dan hendaklah apabila disabitkan dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi satu ribu ringgit atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi enam bulan atau kedua-duanya.

ENAKMEN 9 TAHUN 1988 ENAKMEN KANUN JENAYAH SYARIAH 1988 (NEGERI KEDAH)

BAHAGIAN II – KESALAHAN-KESALAHAN

Seksyen 7. Pondan. Mana-mana orang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan dan berlagak seperti perempuan di mana-mana tempat awam adalah bersalah atas suatu kesalahan dan boleh, apabila disabitkan, dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi satu ribu ringgit atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi enam bulan atau kedua-duanya.

ENAKMEN 2 TAHUN 1985 ENAKMEN KANUN JENAYAH SYARIAH 1985 (NEGERI KELANTAN)

BAHAGIAN II – KESALAHAN-KESALAHAN

Seksyen 7. Pondan. Seseorang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan dan berlagak seperti perempuan di mana-mana tempat awam adalah bersalah atas suatu kesalahan dan boleh, apabila disabitkan, dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi satu ribu ringgit atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi enam bulan atau kedua-duanya.

ENAKMEN 6 TAHUN 1991 ENAKMEN KESALAHAN SYARIAH (NEGERI MELAKA) 1991

BAHAGIAN IV – KESALAHAN-KESALAHAN LAIN

Seksyen 72. Lelaki berlagak seperti perempuan. Seseorang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan dan berlagak seperti perempuan di mana-mana tempat awam tanpa alasan yang munasabah adalah merupakan suatu kesalahan dan apabila disabitkan kesalahan boleh dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi satu ribu ringgit atau dipenjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi enam bulan atau kedua-duanya sekali.

ENAKMEN 4 TAHUN 1993 ENAKMEN JENAYAH DALAM SYARAK 1991 (NEGERI PERLIS)

BAHAGIAN II – KESALAHAN-KESALAHAN

Seksyen 7. Pondan. (1) Mana-mana orang lelaki yang berlagak seperti perempuan (tasyabbuh) di mana-mana tempat awam adalah bersalah atas suatu kesalahan dan boleh, apabila disabitkan, dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi lima ribu ringgit atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi tiga tahun atau kedua-duanya.

ENAKMEN 3 TAHUN 1995 ENAKMEN KESALAHAN JENAYAH SYARIAH 1995 (NEGERI SABAH)

BAHAGIAN IV – KESALAHAN

Seksyen 92. Lelaki berlagak seperti perempuan atau sebaliknya. Seseorang lelaki yang memakai pakaian perempuan atau berlagak seperti perempuan atau sebaliknya di mana-mana tempat awam adalah bersalah atas suatu kesalahan dan boleh, apabila disabitkan dikenakan hukuman denda tidak melebihi satu ribu ringgit atau penjara selama tempoh tidak melebihi enam bulan atau kedua-duanya sekali.

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9 Responses to Stop the Violence and Persecution: Press Statement by the Mak Nyah Community of Malaysia

  1. Mak Nyah Hater

    ALL PONDAN SHOULD BE TORN N SHREDDED APART AND BE BURN !!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!! …ahaha.man ..what a wishful thinking ..anyway Mak Nyah are an abomination..even the thought of being HOMO is against the law of nature..it is against humanity aswell…they're disgusting AND they should realise who they really are and CHANGE back to what they were.. MAN

    • mischa selamat

      maknyah hater sounds like someone who use them for sexual pleasure…

    • nasha

      I believe once your own children or siblings or relatives is maknyah..then your mouth shut off. Don't talk like youre the Creater

  2. Try clustering as a voting bloc in constituencies like Chow Kit or Brickfields and attempt to vote for a Mak Nyah/ LGBT-Community friendly assemblyman and MP as well.

    Only from there can formal recognition (probably from safe zone streets) or a formal red-light-district (for those inclined), be created. From what I read, there are 10,000 in Penang and even more in Selangor. If they converged in a specific district (which usually holds about 40-60K voters) to vote in a friendly assemblyman or MP or even host their own candidate, their rights could be ensured, in international areas at least.

    Then make sure all the amenities you guys need are available there. Sex toy shop, beauty saloon, shops, plastic surgeon, mini petrol station/mechanic etc.. As for Muslim Mak Nyah, make official apostasy requests at the local Syariah Court accompanied by LGBT friendly lawyers IMMEDIATELY.

    Be warned though not to demand this and that or march here and there (people like pieces of paper, not walls of humanity), but rather create areas where harrassment is disallowed and an understanding between enforcement via aseemblyman/MP mediation is at least ensured. The wealthier and more established (also older haha! ) Mak Nyahs could offer funds to open LGBT friendly businesses YOURSELVES, poorer younger ones pool together (10,000 x RM100 = 1 million – see you can buy a shop house – so coordinate yourselves and buy the entire row) open inns etc.. along *A SINGLE STREET* or *A FEW STREETS* at most.

    This would be tolerable to general public least, and when the population grows, then negotiate more *safe zone* space with MPs and enforcement informed. Study the “Boy’s Town, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico” concept and implement the gated community here.

    A safe zone with the a voting bloc, how about it! This will be an initiative for Pink Triangle or MNCM to organise abd coordinate.

  3. Menipeh

    This happens in Negri? I thought Negri was one of the more tolerant states. Don't they even have a procedure for apostasy there?

  4. anti-injustice

    This is gross violation of human rights. Mak Nyahs are no lesser human beings than anyone else. How will Malaysia ever progress with such inhuman things going on?

  5. evolutionarybiologist

    there are billions of circuits in a DNA…some how in the process of replicating, errors(?) may occur..these errors could affect the sexual orientation of an individual..should they be penalized for the errors of which they have no say..these are mere random errors..as should we penalized someone for being born with Down’s Syndrome or being autistic…bear in mind, errors are the underlying mechanism in the evolution of life..errors are the sacred and the profane of life on earth

  6. Ali Davidson

    Menipeh,

    Procedure for apostasy is ridiculous.

    If a person no longer believes in a religion, that’s it la! What’s with all these apostasy procedure rubbish?!

    Just leave people alone!

  7. Jen

    See? I would think this deserves the sending of a Memorandum by the BC for the AMENDMENT of the law as it stands. As long as the law stands, nobody can legally stop the officers from enforcing it. So nip it at the bud, call for its amendment or removal. If it’s not something the non-Muslim lawyers can do for the Mak Nyah community, then let the Muslim lawyers (and Syariah law practitioners)stand up for them on our behalf.