Suaram: Monitor graft instead of transgenders

Suaram calls for stop to demonisation of transgenders and for LGBT not to be denied jobs.

PETALING JAYA: Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community should be given jobs if they are qualified for them.

Commenting on the issue of the police only accepting heterosexual men and women in the force, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy said it was against fundamental liberties to place such restrictions in employment.

“I do not understand this basis for denying their rights,” he told FMT, adding that those qualified should be accorded their right to employment.

On the call by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom to state religious authorities to monitor the activities of transgenders, Sevan said the authorities should monitor corruption instead.

Saying this would be a better use of resources, he called for a halt to the demonisation of transgenders, urging the authorities to engage members of the community instead of portraying them as criminals.

Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the rights of the transgenders to seek employment should be preserved.

The Amanah vice-president said in the case of homosexuals, no one would know their sexual preference unless they came out in the open.

In the context of Malaysian society, it was difficult for transgenders to be their true self.

“While many may not condone their behaviour, they still have the right to seek employment. If they can perform a certain job, then why not?” he told FMT.

Mujahid said that if transgenders were discriminated against in seeking employment, they may be forced to turn to illegal work or vice, and nobody wanted this to happen.

On monitoring transgenders, Mujahid said this should only be the case if they were involved in vice as this was against the law.

“If they are not involved in vice, they should not be discriminated against, but given guidance.”

Over the weekend, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim had said those who were openly LGBT would not be admitted into the police force even if they qualify.

He said although LGBT were not discriminated from becoming police officers in Western countries like the US, the LGBT culture cannot be accepted here owing to community and cultural sentiments.

Jamil had also called on state religious authorities to monitor activities of transgenders and return them to the right path.