The murder of a trans woman in Malaysia was not due to transphobic violence, Malaysian police have said.
The woman was bludgeoned to death in the western city of Klang on Wednesday (12 December).
State police say that the murder appeared to be over an alleged theft following the arrest of four suspects, the Malay Mail reports.
‘One of the suspects had claimed the woman had allegedly stolen his Huawei Nuova 2i mobile phone while servicing him in November,’ said Klang Selatan police chief Assistant Commissioner Shamsul Amar Ramli.
Four suspects arrested
Police arrested four suspects aged between 16 and 19 within 24-hours of the 32-year-old victim being attacked.
The victim had been found unconscious ouside of a hotel on Thursday morning (13 December).
Though she was rushed to a hospital, doctors pronounced her dead at 10.47 am.
A post-mortem revealed that she had suffered severe injuries caused by blunt weapons, and had died from a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain.
Anti-LGBTI sentiments on the increase
The LGBTI rights in Malaysia have been in decline over the past year.
Rights activists and their allies have repeatedly spoken out against persecution discrimination the LGBTI community experiences.
In November, rights groups warned that the country’s constitution did not have necessary protections for its LGBTI population.
Fearmongering against LGBTI community has often come from religious hardliners in the Muslim-majority country.
However, Malaysian politicians – in some cases, high-ranking government officials – have also stoked anti-LGBTI sentiments.