KUALA LUMPUR: The Constitution does not allow a citizen to be discriminated for his religious belief and gender but does not say anything about one's sexual orientation.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim told Parliament that even though Article 8 of the Federal Constitution protects one from gender discrimination, the word gender should not be interpreted as a person's sexual orientation such as being a lesbian, gay or bisexual.
“The protection given by the Federal Constitution is meant for men and women,” she told Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Beruas).
She said the National Registration Department does not allow a man who had undergone sex change to become a woman to make changes to his name in the identity card following a decision by the Fatwa Council that sex change is haram.
Dr Mashitah said the Fatwa Council which met to discuss the issue said any sex change operation was against the religion.
"Only those who are born with two sex organs can undergo an operation.
"Therefore, the NRD will have to adhere to the decision made by the council,” she said in response to a question by Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee (BN-Setiu).
She said the Syriah Criminal Offence Act 1997 stipulates that enforcement and action could only be taken against Muslim offenders, prostitution and pimping.
She said action could also be taken against Muslims under Section 25 for sodomy, and lesbians and transvestites under Section 28.