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Thailand considers deportation of Malaysian transgender entrepreneur


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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand is considering whether to deport a transgender businesswoman who was convicted this month of illegal entry and is wanted in Malaysia for insulting Islam, a case that has put a spotlight on Malaysia's approach to gender identity.

 

Cosmetics company owner Nur Sajat, as she prefers to be known, fled from Malaysia this year. Thai police confirmed that Sajat was arrested this month and was found guilty by a court of illegal entry and subsequently released on bail.

 

In Malaysia, she faces up to three years in jail and or a fine for dressing as a woman at a religious event in 2018, which she pleaded not guilty to, according to news reports.

 

Neither Sajat nor her lawyer could be reached for comment.

 

The case has raised concern about what human rights groups say is a worsening climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people in Malaysia, a country that outlaws same-sex acts.

 

In June, a Malaysian government taskforce proposed amending Islamic law to allow action to be taken against social media users who were insulting Islam and "promoting the LGBT lifestyle".

 

The process of Sajat's deportation was underway but could take time, during which many factors would be taken into consideration, Thai deputy police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said, without elaborating.

 

On Tuesday, Malaysian Criminal Investigation Department director Abd Jalil Hassan said police, the foreign ministry and the attorney general's office were making efforts to bring Sajat back.

 

In a news conference, during which he referred to Sajat by her formal name, the director said Malaysia recommended Sajat "returns to the country in a good way to face the cases".

 

Malaysia has also charged Sajat on separate charges of obstructing and threatening a public servant.

 

Malaysia has a duel-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims alongside civil laws.

 

Rights groups have urged Thai authorities not to deport her and say she could be in danger.

 

"The prosecution in Malaysia is based on her gender identity so there is already sufficient ground for her protection under international standards," said Sunai Phasuk, senior Thailand researcher at Human Rights Watch, which has drawn attention to discrimination and ill treatment of transgender people in Malaysia

 

Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said the government was "considering this matter based on the law and Thailand's humanitarian principles".

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-09-22
 
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2 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Thailand is considering whether to deport a transgender businesswoman who was convicted this month of illegal entry and is wanted in Malaysia for insulting Islam

sounds like someone who fled Malaysian - why is Thailand even considering anything

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2 hours ago, smedly said:

sounds like someone who fled Malaysian - why is Thailand even considering anything

Because the neighbouring country is asking ?

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8 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

In June, a Malaysian government taskforce proposed amending Islamic law to allow action to be taken against social media users who were insulting Islam and "promoting the LGBT lifestyle".

yeah you cant beat a good  stoning right!!

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13 minutes ago, Rampant Rabbit said:

Religious claptrap, all religions are an insult

Especially when they practice politics instead of spiritually - 

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Ms. Sajat must be rather naive if, as a person whose true gender status has been a subject of debate for years, she thought she could make a religious pilgrimage to Mecca, and post about it on social media of all things, without any consequences. 

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There was me thinking Thailand wanted entrepreneurs and the rich does it really matter that she entered the country illegally maybe she doesn’t believe in the brown  envelope system 

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10 hours ago, EricTh said:

I think I read somewhere that she is claiming refugee status in Australia. 

 

I certainly hope she won't be deported until Australia has made its decision whether to accept her.

 

She can be in serious trouble if she is deported to Malaysia.

3 years for dressing as a women... Jeez.

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4 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

He fled because his life is in danger after he renounce Islam. He said that he just didn't want to be Muslim any more"" and for this he received death threats. In Malaysia, renouncing Islam is dangerous even though the constitution enshrines freedom of worship. The government's stand is direct that one cannot leave Islam if he or she was born Muslim. May not be a federal crime but religious courts have very broad jurisdiction over conversion and apostasy. Punishment is very harsh. He has to seek asylum as he stand practically zero chance back in Malaysia. Good luck to him. 

Thanks for that

 

yeah it's disgusting 

 

I hope Thailand does the right thing with this - that's why it is important to have a very clear asylum process in place

 

Maybe Thailand was the wrong country to flee to but also likely had little choice 

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3 minutes ago, smedly said:

Thanks for that

 

yeah it's disgusting 

 

I hope Thailand does the right thing with this - that's why it is important to have a very clear asylum process in place

 

Maybe Thailand was the wrong country to flee to but also likely had little choice 

I read that he has applied for asylum status with the UNHCR and formally seek asylum in Australia. This may put a spanner in a speedy extradiction back to malaysia. He really has no choice to flee across the border to Thailand as his passport was cancelled. 

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3 hours ago, hotchilli said:

3 years for dressing as a women... Jeez.

That's nothing jeez about it.

 

There are many ladyboys who are accepted in Thailand and not discriminated unlike in Muslim countries.

 

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3 hours ago, Eric Loh said:

He fled because his life is in danger after he renounce Islam. He said that he just didn't want to be Muslim any more"" and for this he received death threats. In Malaysia, renouncing Islam is dangerous even though the constitution enshrines freedom of worship. The government's stand is direct that one cannot leave Islam if he or she was born Muslim. May not be a federal crime but religious courts have very broad jurisdiction over conversion and apostasy. Punishment is very harsh. He has to seek asylum as he stand practically zero chance back in Malaysia. Good luck to him. 

Ladyboys prefer to be called 'she' and not 'he'. Have you met ladyboys in Thailand before? They say 'Ka' and not 'Kap'.


In certain Muslim countries in the past, renouncing Islam is a death sentence. 

 

Edited by EricTh
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3 hours ago, crazykopite said:

There was me thinking Thailand wanted entrepreneurs and the rich does it really matter that she entered the country illegally maybe she doesn’t believe in the brown  envelope system 

I am afraid  it does...all must be seen as subject to the law.

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4 hours ago, nausea said:

Ms. Sajat must be rather naive if, as a person whose true gender status has been a subject of debate for years, she thought she could make a religious pilgrimage to Mecca, and post about it on social media of all things, without any consequences. 

I think its more that she wanted to make a stand. Things change because of people like her. The first blacks that fought for more freedom in the US also knew it could end badly for them. But without them things would not have changed.

 

Question is do you think she deserves to be punished for this or not. 

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