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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sex Change Dilemma: Kayveas: Allow gender update in MyKad

The Malay Mail

There is a need for provisions to update a person’s gender details in their MyKad when a sex change has been done legally and properly.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk M. Kayveas, said that since a person is able to make amendments to their names or religion on their MyKad, there should not be a problem for them to amend their gender.

“Once an individual is medically acknowledged as a transsexual, the necessary legalities have to be put in place,” said Kayveas yesterday.

He said that it is also time for society to accept transsexuals and not isolate them.

“When we can accept the changes taking place in the world, environment, and the weather, I don’t understand why it is so difficult for us to accept changes in the human body,” said Kayveas.

“Look and see what the international community is doing in such situations. Learn from them,” he said.

He cited the case of a transsexual who claimed to have been forced to strip naked at the Ipoh police headquarters to prove she is a woman after police rejected her request to have a policewoman present.

In the Oct 16 incident, Mumtaz, born Abdul Malik Theen Mohamed, was remanded and was allegedly forced to strip to prove her claim that she had undergone a sex change operation in Thailand.

Kayveas said that everyone has the right to update their personal details from birth to death.

“We should not be too rigid on this matter, ” he said.

Kayveas also said that transsexuals must be respected as human beings and Malaysian citizens.

“They are neither foreigners nor criminals. It is not their choice to be in-between. They were born that way. For those who believe in God, it is God’s creation, so respect it,” he said.

Kayveas also said that society should try to help transsexuals to lead a normal life.

On Nov 15, the New Straits Times reported that the Government has no plans to amend the law to allow change of sex status in the MyKad.

However, exceptions could be made if an applicant has been given the green light by the court.

The report quoted Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid who had said that existing laws also prohibit Muslims (except for medically-certified khunsa or hermaphrodites) from changing their sex status or name in the MyKad after undergoing a sex-change operation.

To date, Azmi had said, there has only been one case where a sex and name change was allowed in the MyKad, after a court ruling.

He said that it was up to Parliament to amend the law but there has been no such move towards this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a post operative mtf, I just want to be legally recognized as female, it is basic human right to allow me to have my female gender updated on my mykad.

3:45 pm  

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