While the election fever is at its peak, the Malaysian transgender population of more than 30,000 are a forgotten lot, with neither side of the political divide making an earnest attempt to woo them.
Although many of the transgenders in the country are eligible voters, the majority have not registered as voters and even those registered shy away from casting their ballots. “We want to vote but at this moment we will not as we are disappointed with the way the government and the media have treated and portrayed us…this issue should be taken up. “If it is addressed, then it would be a new beginning for the transgender community in the country,” said Malaysian Thirunangai Association founder Elisha Kor Krishnan.
“Our male names on our identification cards are being called out during polling and it is quite embarrassing in public when that happens. Even in hospitals, we are assigned to male doctors and admitted in a man’s ward. Our plight has never been looked into by the government.”
“There are 7, 800 registered non-Muslim transgender voters and also many others who are Muslim transgender voters. We do make a large number in Malaysia. But the problem is recognition. Both sides are not serious in tackling problems that we face”, she said.