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Transgender dilemma: It also affects the authorities

almost 6 years ago DenningMR





This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be used or construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.



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Will PDRM charge a transgender woman in Kota Kinabalu for baring her breasts in a shopping mall??!

TheCoverage reported that a woman's wardrobe malfunction caused her to accidentally exposed her breasts to shoppers who were watching her perform a song.

Of course being Malaysians we whipped out our smart phones, video record it and soon the whole thing goes viral on the internet. It's now suspected that the 'woman' is a transgender. Police are looking (pun intended) into the matter.

What the police in Kota Kinabalu have to say

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City police chief Asst Comm M.Chandra stated that they are looking for someone with the physique of a woman but they are not dismissing the fact that it may be a man. So the police are also looking for a 24-year old man going by the name of Ravidi Jubaidi in connection with the incident.

Can the transgender in question please stand up?

It was also reported that the transgender in the video was identified as Facebook user Papai Cicie ( Puteri Cici Cutez) who took to Facebook to apologise for the mishap and said her breast was accidentally exposed when she bent down towards the microphone.

Possible offences

Doing an obscene act

Section 294(a) of the Penal Code states that whoever, to the annoyance of others, does any obscene act in any public place shall be punished with a maximum three months jail or a fine or both.

Back in 2014 the participants of the infamous Pesta Bogel at Teluk Bahang, Penang were charged under this section. Then again they were all completely nude. But here we have a very different set of circumstances.

It's a man who looks like a woman, with a wardrobe malfunction.

Gesture intending to insult modesty

Section 509 of the Penal Code provides that, a person guilty of using a word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of another can be jailed up to five years or fined or both.

I would say this charge will be hard to stick as there is a need to prove the element of intention to insult. As stated earlier, there was a wardrobe malfunction.

So what is the obscene act?

It would be safe to say that because the person in question has undergone breast implants, it is now an issue for the authorities. They probably find it obscene.

Now, the dilemma that the authorities are in, is that, will they be charging a man [since Malaysia does not recognise transsexuals or transgenders] for exposing his 'breasts'?

As we know men do not have breasts (okay, I know its arguable with terms such as gynecomastia). Also, men are frequently seen in public, bare chested and yet none have ever been charged for doing that.

So, just because this man has breast implants it is now deemed as obscene? What about men who are overweight? They got what we call 'man breasts'. Will they now be forbidden to walk around bare chested?

If so, the authorities will then be penalising men for being fat! An absurd proposition for sure.

What then about men with nipple rings? Is that obscene too? If so I better warn my friend Khairul.

Who was annoyed?

From the video clips floating in cyberworld, I doubt anyone was annoyed. How will the police prove that persons present then were annoyed? Everyone was watching or recording the whole incident without objection.

This is one instance that the police cannot have one of its personnel lodge a report based on what he saw online and that he was annoyed by an obscene act. It will be futile to do so.

He would be watching the video, he was not present when the act occurred.

The transgender community

On a more serious note ... perhaps it's time that the authorities take note of the transgender community that we have. It is time they acknowledge their existence and make the necessary provisions for this community.

They are no longer living in the shadows ... they exist and they are here to stay

Read more about transgender issues in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!