PUTRAJAYA: The Negri Sembilan government has filed for leave to appeal before the highest court in the land against a Court of Appeal decision to declare criminalising cross-dressing as unconstitutional.
Two representatives from the state legal adviser's office filed the notice of motion at the Federal Court chief registrar's office, submitting seven questions of law.
Four other parties - the Negri Sembilan Islamic Affairs department, its director, the state's Syariah enforcement chief, and prosecution chief - were also among the applicants in the appeal.
On Thursday, Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan was reported as saying that the state authorities were appealing as the decision to declare Section 66 invalid was "very dangerous".
"It will set a precedent for those who want to promote pluralism, liberalism and other such ideologies in the country," he said.
The Court of Appeal had on Nov 7 made a landmark ruling, declaring Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 to be unconstitutional.
The panel lead by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus ruled that criminalising cross-dressing for Muslims was an unreasonable restriction of individuals' freedom of expression.
This reversed the Seremban High Court's decision on Oct 11, 2012 to dismiss a judicial review by three transgenders against the Syariah Enactment.
The applicants - Muhamad Juzaili Mohd Khamis, 26, Shukor Jani, 28, and Wan Fairol Wan Ismail, 30 - also sought a court order to prohibit their arrests and prosecution under the section.
Currently, Section 66 allows the Syariah Court to punish any Muslim man who dresses or poses as a woman with up to six months in prison or be fined a maximum RM1,000, regardless if they had Gender Identity Disorder (GID).