Malaysia increasingly unsafe for transgender people

Published: October 13, 2014

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Malaysia is one of the world’s worst countries for transgender people, said Human Rights Watch which recently released a report in which it detailed social ostracism, discrimination, harassment, sexual abuse and arrest by authorities.

The country retains “Section 377A” a British colonial-era law banning “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and outlaws same-sex relations and can be jailed for up to 20 years, caned or fined. The government’s attitude towards the LGBT community is shaped by Islam, the official religion in Malaysia. Muslims who make up over 60 percent of Malaysia’s of 29 million people.

Locally enforced state-level laws on Islamic purity also criminalize dressing as the opposite sex, and can be punished by three years in prison and a fine.

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