Court overturns decision in trans man’s case


  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 Jan 2017

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision that allowed a woman who had a sex change to be legally declared a man.

Justice Zakaria Sam, who chaired a three-man panel, held that there was merit in the appeal by the director-general of the National Registration Department (NRD).

“We have read the submissions and after a detailed discussion, we have come to an unanimous decision that there is merit in the appeal.

“As such, we allow the appeal and set aside the order of the High Court.

“Basically, we agree with the submission of the learned SFC (Mohamad Rizal Fadzil),” he said in his oral decision yesterday.

Justice Zakaria said the court would write its written grounds of judgment later.

The other judges were Justices Ahmadi Asnawi and Hasnah Mohammed Hashim.

The judges took more than an hour to deli­berate and overturn the decision of the High Court.

On July 18, Justice S. Nantha Balan declared that the plaintiff, who had undergone a gender reassignment surgery, was a man.

He also directed the NRD director-general to change the name on the identity card to the trans man’s new name and the last digit to a digit that reflects the male gender.

“In my view, the chromosomal requirement is archaic and should be discarded because scientifically, it is impossible for a biological male to have female chromosomes and vice versa.”

He said the male XY and female XX chromosome remain static throughout a person’s natural life and to insist on the ‘chromoso­mal requirement was to ask for the impossible’.

Earlier yesterday, SFC Mohamad Rizal said the trans man had a duty to show that he fulfilled all the requirements and standards of the sexual conditions that would render his legal status to be changed in consideration of chromosomal, gonadal, genital and psychological factors.

“A medical report was issued after the gender reassignment operation in Thailand.

“There is no medical report before the sex change.

“The report didn’t state the chromosome, it didn’t say anything about chromosomes, just physical condition.”

William Lim, counsel for the trans man said the medical profession attested that the respondent was a man for all intents and purposes.

He said his client has been functioning as a male since pre-school, way before the gender reassignment surgery in 2009.

Lim said his client was not asking to change his sex on his birth certificate from female to male, but only on his MyKad.

The respondent, who turns 30 in April, was not present in court.

Assisting SFC Mohamad Rizal was SFC Shamsul Bolhassan. With Lim was Nur Izzati Rosli.

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Lifestyle , Government , transgender

   

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