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Genitalia determine which toilets to use, says Malaysian mufti

Genitalia determine which toilets to use, says Malaysian mufti

Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin's comments on Malaysia's trans community

An Malaysian Islamic preacher said that trans peoples’ biological sex should determine which toilets they should use.

The comments come from Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, a mufti from northern state of Perlis.

Mohd also appeared to mock transgender people who insist on using bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, and not of their birth gender.

‘I would like to suggest that if any individual is confused, it is recommended he meets an expert to examine him while he urinates to determine the origin of the urine,’ Datuk wrote in a Facebook post.

‘If it exits from a male organ, then use the men’s toilet. If it exits from a woman’s genitals, then please use the women’s toilet,’ The Malay Mail reported.

‘If nothing comes out at all or if it does not come out from either male or female genitals, then please go to the hospital. If the doctors say you are disabled, then you can use the disabled toilet.’

Continuing controversy

Datuk’s posts are yet another high-profile indecent surrounding LGBTI rights in Malaysia

The comments also come in response to an ongoing controversy.

Last week, the minster for religious affairs, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, ordered that portraits of two LGBTI activists holding the Malaysian national flag be removed from an art exhibition in the George Town festival in Penang.

The removal of the portraits received international media attention, and was widely condemned by activists and arts practitioners in Malaysia.

In an attempt to smooth over the controversy, the minister met with Nisha Ayub, a transgender woman and one of the activists featured in the portraits. However, this appeared to have the opposite effect when he was asked about toilet rights for transgender people.

It was initially reported that Mujahid had said that Nisha should use whichever toilet was her preferred choice. However, when questioned about this further the minister partially walked back his comments saying they were merely his own opinion, and he was not issuing an order.

Increased frustration

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s mixed signals on LGBTI rights in Malaysia have caused increased frustration among Malaysia’s LGBTI activists and their allies.

Many had seen the PH as progressive reformers who would help to progress LGBTI rights in Malaysia, though so far there have been virtually substantive changes.

However, there seems to be an increasing awareness of LGBTI rights in Malaysia, with human rights campaigners have been more vocal about the cause, including Marina Mahatir, the daughter of current prime minister.

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