Saturday January 20, 2018
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Project Director and founder of the Seed Foundation, Nisha Ayub, giving an interview at the Foundation’s T-Home, November 15, 2017. — Picture by Miera ZulyanaProject Director and founder of the Seed Foundation, Nisha Ayub, giving an interview at the Foundation’s T-Home, November 15, 2017. — Picture by Miera ZulyanaKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Authorities should take action against individuals using social media as a tool to attack the transgender community, prominent activist Nisha Ayub said today.

She said the authorities, especially the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) should act on those championing hate speech against this group on social media and the Internet.

Allowing this to happen, Nisha said, was tantamount to cyber bullying.

“People like Papagomo must be brought in for questioning. He is the cause of making Nur Sajat’s gender identity an issue,” she said, referring to blogger Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris who accused Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman of being a trans woman.

Nisha, who was commenting on the Malaysian Islamic Development Department’s (Jakim) meeting and investigation to verify Nur Sajat’s gender, said it was not wrong for the federal Islamic agency to do so and, in fact, praised the way they handled the situation.

But, she said controversial blogger Wan Muhammad Azri had no reason to defame or initiate a “pointless controversy” in the first place.

In a recent video, Wan Muhammad Azri claimed that Jakim had already informed him that Nur Sajat was a man.

Wan Muhammad Azri said such a matter cannot be kept a secret and must be made known to all.

“For me, it is not about Jakim, but about Nur Sajat going through the process. I think she’s just saddened to see people questioning who she is,” Nisha said.

“But at the same time I believe we should be directing this whole argument to the bullying of minorities and creating hatred among this groups,” she added.

Gender identity, Nisha said, is not determined from one’s sex organs.

“It is not what that is between the legs, but what that is between the ears. If one can’t see that, then the transgenders and the cisgenders will forever be oppressed,” she said.

On Tuesday, Jakim official Mohd Izwan Md Yusof met celebrity entrepreneur Nur Sajat and her parents at her office after requesting for a meeting to “know her better” amid public speculation over her gender.

The senior assistant director in Jakim’s family, social and community development division had subsequently said that it would take a lengthy process to verify Nur Sajat’s gender.

Mohd Izwan’s open letter to Nur Sajat on his Facebook came after a viral video by Wan Muhammad Azri showed the latter calling minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom to complain about her gender identity.

Wan Muhammad Azri has in the past faced police action for spreading unverified news.

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