LETTER | Diverstiy Malaysia notices there has been an increase in malicious personal attacks by one 'Wan Muhammad Azri' on Nur Sajat and her gender identity since last Monday (Jan 15).
The series of attacks began with a video posted on a Facebook account questioning the inaction of Jakim in handling transgender issues.
Subsequently, this person launched a series of attacks against Nur Sajat through one 'Sir Azri' Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts. The attack is still ongoing as of today.
We, Diversity, advocate for gender equality which includes all genders, i.e. male, female, transgender, and other non-binary genders. Diversity condemns these attacks on Nur Sajat for one main reason: the right to determination of gender is a personal choice and individual’s private right.
We view that this right as one of the fundamental rights and liberty as protected under our Federal Constitution. This right should not be determined by any religious authority or any other person(s).
Notwithstanding that, if at all, we assume to agree that this right should be determined by the religious authority, questions arise as to why Nur Sajat has to undergo a lengthy “gender verification test” but not others.
In the same breath, shouldn’t this 'Sir Azri' also be subjected to the same test to determine his/her gender?
Furthermore, we wish to state/highlight the following:
1. We doubt the silence and inaction of the police. This issue has been on social media for almost two (2) weeks. Clear and blatant criminal intimidation has been committed. We urge the police to open an investigation paper on this case without fear.
2. We urge the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take immediate action against this 'Sir Azri'. Under paragraph 2.7, Part 1 of General Principles of Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Content Code, attention should be given to include diversity expressed through gender.
Here, to celebrate the diversity in gender, we urge the MCMC to take stern actions against the menacing and offensive posts for failing to embrace gender diversity and attacking another based on a different gender.
3. Besides, the continuous attacks on Nur Sajat due to her gender are an obvious case of cyber-bullying. This cyber-bullying was manifested not only by the person who made the original posts but other social media users as well through insults and condemnation. Silence in this matter will only condone and promote such transphobic acts.
4. We remind all media to report with appropriate terms and not by using “bapok”, “pondan” or such other derogatory terms. The media plays a big role in shaping the people’s opinion.
In the context of Islam, we invite the public at large to discuss and reconsider this matter based on the fundamental principles and values of religion. The specific question to be asked is whether condemning another human being due to his/her gender is appropriate and necessary for this matter.
We also call the public to reconsider “sharing” or “liking” transphobic comments or posts in social media. The amount of “sharing” and “liking” has shown how intolerant we are in celebrating diversity in Malaysia.
5. Lastly, should an amicable solution be not plausible, we recommend for Nur Sajat to take a civil court action on the basis of defamation, assault and intimidation. Let the justice be called upon in the courts of law with a precedent to be set there once and for all.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.