PETALING JAYA: Physical and verbal attacks against the transgender community must stop, say DAP leaders Hannah Yeoh and Syahredzan Johan.
In a joint statement, the Segambut MP and the lawyer, who is also Lim Kit Siang's political secretary, said any such attacks were gross violations of the human rights of members of the transgender community, who should enjoy the same fundamental liberties as any other Malaysian citizen.
"We believe that the wanton disregard for the lives of the transgender community is the result of the constant demonisation of the community by certain quarters.
"The hate speeches directed at the transgender community reduced their humanity in the eyes of society and has made it easier for them to be targeted. We condemn in the strongest terms any hate speech directed at the community," said the duo.
Yeoh and Syahredzan said that they met with the victim Sunday (19 Aug), who was attacked by a group of men at about 11pm in Sungai Ujong, Seremban.
"The men surrounded her, and it is believed that she was attacked because of prejudice against her gender identity and the fact that she is a transgender woman.
"The victim suffered internal injuries, several broken ribs as well as injuries to her back and head, which required 12 stitches. The victim was hospitalised for several days after the assault.
"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The transgender community has long been the target of assault and harassment throughout the country.
"In some cases, the attacks have resulted in serious injuries and tragically, even death. Most of the time, the perpetrators of the crimes were not brought to justice, either because of fear of repercussions on the part of the victims or because the authorities were reluctant to take further action," they said.
"We call upon all parties to work together to put a halt to the attacks on one of the most marginalised communities in Malaysia," they added.
It was reported that the police had arrested an individual for assaulting a transgender woman with a weapon in Seremban on Wednesday.
Seremban district deputy police chief Superintendent Sulizmie Affendy Sulaiman said that police have obtained a five-day remand order on the suspect.