PETALING JAYA: Fuziah Salleh should apologise for suggesting that people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community should use toilets meant for people with disabilities, says Ras Adiba Radzi.
The founder and chairman of the non-governmental organisation OKU Sentral said in an open letter on Tuesday (Aug 14) that the organisation rejected the statement made by the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.
Fuziah had urged the transgender community to use toilets meant for people with disabilities as a temporary measure before they are fully accepted by society.
She had suggested on Monday (Aug 13) that this is the best solution when responding to concerns about transgender individuals using toilets meant for women.
"This is our right, why do we need to share with the abled? Do you know that our toilets are often misused by the able-bodied? It's also a smoking joint, turned into a storeroom, or used as a resting room for cleaning workers," said Ras Adiba in response.
Ras Adiba said the OKU community had endured such a situation for a long time and questioned why Fuziah suggested the measure.
"Did you not do any research before suggesting this? This is not considerate of our situation," she said.
Ras Adiba called on the Deputy Minister to apologise to the OKU community in Malaysia, claiming that it had angered her and her disabled friends.
"Please think first and respect our feelings before recklessly giving suggestions without knowing about our rights," she added.
Debate over the transgender community's access to public toilets was sparked by an off-hand remark by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
He had said that it should not be a problem for them to use women's toilets when speaking about discrimination against the community.However, after coming under fire from several quarters, Dr Mujahid denied he had given permission for them to do so.