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Conservatives in Malaysia are outraged over whisky and a transsexual entrepreneur

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Malaysia's devout Muslims are outraged that a transgender social media star and a local whiskey brand have offended religious sensibilities and insulted Islam.

Nur Sajat, a famous cosmetics entrepreneur and influencer, initially made headlines in January when she was charged with insulting Islam by wearing women's clothes while holding a religious event.

Soon after, there was a barrage of online abuse.
When she failed to appear in court and fled, the Selangor Shariah Court issued an arrest order for her.


She was thrust back into the spotlight in September after local media reported, using anonymous sources, that she had been detained by Thai immigration police in Bangkok.
A friend helped her get out of jail.
Sajat revealed last Monday (October 18) that she had fled to Australia and was seeking asylum there.

Islamist politicians and clerics have said that being transgender or gay is against Islamic law, which applies to the country's majority Malay-Muslims, and that the steps taken against Sajat are legitimate.

Activists claim that these activities are abuses of human rights and harassment.


Meanwhile, Sajat claims that three officials from the Islamic religious body Jais kicked, restrained, and molested her when she was in prison in January.

LGBT activist Numan Afifi called the reported event "appalling," and said the government should have probed the religious officials who allegedly harassed Sajat.


"The ongoing persecution of Sajat reflects the repressive climate that exists in the LGBTI+ community.
Over the years, she has been harassed, bullied, and doxed by online users "According to The Straits Times, he said.

"Sajat is still in danger in Malaysia...
The state owes it to all of its inhabitants to safeguard them, yet it failed to do so with Sajat.
It was the agent of violence in her situation "Added he.


Another religious debate has erupted in recent weeks, this time around Timah, a locally manufactured, award-winning whiskey brand.

Muslim organisations are outraged by the name, which they claim is a misspelling of "Fatimah," the name of Prophet Muhammad's daughter, and is entirely improper given that alcohol is prohibited in Islam.

Timah, on the other hand, means "tin" in Malay, and Timah Whiskey claims that its name refers to the tin-mining era in Malaysia when it was under British colonial rule.


Nonetheless, numerous organisations have encouraged the Home Ministry and state governments to be more severe in regulating and supervising the alcohol sector, claiming that alcoholic beverages violate Islamic teachings and can destroy the social structure.

Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Noor, according to local news site The Star, has asked the government to modify the whiskey's name.


"We don't object to non-Muslims drinking alcohol," he was reported as saying last Monday, "but we are seeking the government to order the manufacturer to change its brand as well as the picture on the bottle to a name and picture that do not arouse the sensitivity of Muslims in the country."

The Health Ministry approved the labelling for Timah hard liquor, according to Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa, who also stated that the company behind the whiskey has had an excise licence since 2003.

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