Malay Mail Online


Court orders Jawi to name officers in transgender raid

Activist and lawyer Siti Kasim filed for a court order against Jawi and the government in November last year to ask for information on the raid and raiding officers. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 ― The High Court here ordered the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) today to release details of the officers involved in last year’s raid at a purported “beauty pageant” for transgenders.

Lawyer Surendra Ananth, representing Siti Kasim who plans to sue Jawi raiding officers for her wrongful arrest, said Justice Faizah Jamaludin allowed the “pre-action” order to obtain within 14 days details of the officers who raided the event in April last year at Renaissance Hotel here.  

“The judge allowed the application. The government, which is the defendant, has 14 days to divide the names and titles of the Jawi officers involved in the incident,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

“Siti will be filing a suit against the government and the officers for wrongful arrest and detention once we get the details,” he added.

Jawi officers raided the event on April 3 last year and arrested Siti then, claiming that the function was unlawful as it was supposedly a beauty pageant held for trans women.

Siti said she was present as an invited guest at the closed-door dinner event and that Jawi officers did not state the reason for their intrusion, adding that they had sought to detain all present at the dinner without informing them of their alleged offence.

Siti also added that she had identified herself as a lawyer, but Jawi’s enforcement officers did not respond then to her queries on the alleged offence that led to the raid, adding that these officers who were unaccompanied by the police had failed to show any arrest warrants.

She said one of Jawi’s enforcement officers finally told her the alleged offence was the organising of a beauty pageant, but the officers failed to state any legal provision for this and had ignored her attempts to explain that the event was a dinner.

Siti had accused Jawi of abusing their powers by bringing her to the Dang Wangi police station, where she was allegedly told to wait for several hours before she was allowed to leave as she was not under arrest.

The activist and lawyer in November last year filed for a court order against Jawi and the government to ask for information on the raid and raiding officers, which would be necessary for a lawsuit, after Jawi ignored her letter of demand.