A second trans woman has been killed in the city of Klang in Malaysia.
The 37-year-old’s death comes less than a month after a trans woman was bludgeoned to death in the same city.
Reports say that the trans woman died from multiple injuries sustained from either jumping out of or being thrown out of a moving vehicle on Tuesday (1 January).
A 55-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death, the Malay Mail reports.
Malaysian police have said that the death appeared to be due to a dispute over the alleged theft of a mobile phone.
Police officials stressed that her death did not appear to be a hate crime.
Second trans death in under a month
Posting on Facebook, Malaysian trans rights activist Nisha Ayub questioned the official account of the death.
‘This time the [man who has been arrested] said the victim jumped of the car just because he accused her for stealing the phone? Which person would react in such way if it’s not because of the feeling of fear or to avoid of being attack?’ Nisha wrote.
She also posted a video on Facebook Live discussing the trans woman’s death.
‘Not hate crimes’
In a separate incident, another trans woman was killed in Klang last month.
The 32-year-old was found severely beaten outside a hotel in the early morning of 10 December.
Though she was rushed to hospital the victim succumbed to her injuries.
Four youths between the ages of 16 and 21 have been charged with her murder.
Malaysian police said that this incident was not a hate crime, but also due to a dispute over the alleged theft of a mobile phone.
‘One of the suspects had claimed the woman had allegedly stolen his Huawei Nuova 2i mobile phone while servicing him in November,’ Klang Selatan police chief Assistant Commissioner Shamsul Amar Ramli said on 15 December.
‘The motive of the case is strictly on the alleged theft committed and not hate crimes against LGBT,’ he added.
Anti-LGBTI sentiments on the rise in Malaysia
Malaysia has seen an increase in anti-LGBTI sentiment over the past year.
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.
Rights groups have repeatedly spoken out against the persecution the LGBTI community faces.
Last month, an LGBTI rights group called on the police to investigate a video of what appeared to be a homophobic attack by a group against two men they accused of having homosexual sex in a car.
Numan Afifi, president of The Pelangi Campaign, said that video showed a hate crime.
The 96-second video has been shared widely online. In response to a question from Gay Star News, Numan said many viewers’ reactions had been in support of the attack.