KUANTAN: There is no element of hate crime in the murder of transgender woman Sameera Krishnan.
"We are looking into the victim's past activities and also whether the murder was linked to a kidnapping case in Klang two years ago.
"We are investigating if it was an act of vengeance but there is no indication that the murder was a hate crime against a transgender individual," said Pahang CID chief Senior Asst Commissioner Datuk Raja Shahrom Raja Abdullah.
Sameera, 26, was the main witness in her own kidnapping case, which had been set for hearing at the Shah Alam court early next month.
In the 2015 case, she was rescued by police when her captors' car was involved in an accident with another vehicle at the Sungai Rasau toll plaza.
Early Thursday morning, Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan, after she went out to buy food.
Kuantan OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Aziz Salleh said police were taking the case seriously like any other crime.
"The point is someone was murdered so police will investigate this case thoroughly according to procedure as always," he said.
In Petaling Jaya, the Malaysian Tamil Transwoman Association vice-president Kalaivani Ramasamy lambasted the recent use of the term pondan in certain media reports over Sameera's murder.
"Pondan refers to men dressed up as women. We are not men dressed up as women, we are transgender women," said Kalaivani.
She said such crude terms were used because of the general lack of respect for the transgender community.
Transgender activist Nisha Ayub, in a Facebook posting, also criticised those who had used degrading terms to describe Sameera's gender identity.
Nisha also talked about a local radio station, which had in its morning programme yesterday, referred to Sameera as a transgender man.
Nisha said the announcers, who were giggling, also said Sameera had "changed, was cute but yet was murdered".