KUALA LUMPUR: The transgender community has been urged to use toilets for the disabled (OKU) as a temporary measure before they are fully accepted by the society, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh.
She said the temporary measure might be the best solution after taking into consideration the feeling of some women who do not feel safe when the transgender community uses the female toilet.
"So I consider that the best solution until the public accepts them," she told reporters at the parliament lobby.
Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa says he did not give permission for transgenders to use women’s toilets.
Instead, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that he had merely answered the question of a journalist regarding this issue.
Dr Mujahid had come under fire for his statement, with many accusing him of disregarding the safety of women.
Fuziah said that the transgender community also felt unsafe if they use the male toilet.
"They are scared they will be harassed if they go to the men's toilet.
"But if they use the female toilet, the women will feel unsafe.
"We need to understand them," she said.
She also noted that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had carried out various programmes to help the transgender community to move away from being sex workers.
"We are taking initiatives on how to help them and also how to make people understand them."It includes career change programme and how the religious authorities can provide training skills to them," she said.