It's an offence for men to dress and act like a woman in public, in Kelantan

Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah

KOTA BARU: Men in the state who choose to act or dress like a woman can be fined up to RM1,000 or land themselves in jail for up to four months or received both punishments if found guilty.

The penalty said Kelantan Chief Syariah Judge Datuk Daud Muhammad, can be imposed on both locals and foreigners caught doing so in the state.

He said a man dressing up as a woman will be committing an offence under Section 7 of the Syariah Criminal Code 1985.

“I am not sure whether the law in Kelantan against transgender is the same as in other states but in this state, it is clearly stated that those dressing or acting like a pondan in public places can be fined and received a jail sentence under the enactment.

“It is up to them if they want to dress up like a woman in their homes but not at public places. This is a serious offence,” he said.

Daud said this to reporters after attending the recognition of the state syarie lawyer at the Syariah Department here today.

A total of 31 syarie lawyers received their recognition at the ceremony. Also present was chief prosecution head Zaini Sulaiman.

Daud said he believed that the presence of transgender in Kelantan were due to several factors which includes men and women mixing together freely, and the lack attention given by parents to their children.

He added that he does not know the exact number of transgender in the state currently but when he was the enforcement religious chief, there were between 40 and 70 transgender persons in the state.

“It was in 1980s and to educate them, we held dialogues and also organised counselling regularly.

“Nowadays, I believe the number has reduced slightly from that in the 1980s,” he said.

He, however, claimed that lack of enforcement by local authorities has allowed for these transgender people to conduct their ‘activity’ freely in the state.

“I would like to advice local authorities especially the enforcement bodies to conduct regular operation and hold counselling sessions for this group,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd