Recognise us as women, transgender group tells govt

The Malaysian Tamil Transgender Association is demanding that the Government amend current laws to recognise the group as women, Malaysia Nanban reported.

Association president R. Surya said transgenders were able to change the gender on their identification cards to "female" before 2004, but were no longer allowed to do so.

She said this situation had caused them difficulties.

"While they identify and live as women, including their appearance, having this contradicted by their IC means they are denied jobs and business loans," she said.

"This excludes them from national economic activities and leaves some of them without income and homeless in extreme cases."

Surya said when transgenders were hospitalised for treatment, they had to stay in male wards and use male toilets even though they were women. The same situation arose when a transgender was arrested or imprisoned.

Speaking at the organisation's third annual gathering, Surya called on unity among the estimated 7,000 transgenders in the country as the first step to making a meaningful change in the long run.

She said electing a transgender to Parliament to highlight their issues was among their top priorities.

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