KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he doesn't know the gender of a person, said to be a transwoman, who was recently appointed into a committee under the Health Ministry.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference at the Parliament lobby Wednesday (July 10), Dr Mahathir questioned if there were indeed confirmations to prove that Rania Zara Medina was a transgender woman.
“What transgender? Have you checked her? Is she really a transgender?
"I don’t know if she is a transgender. I haven’t met with her,” he said.
Recently, social media has been abuzz over the appointment of Rania, a former transgender beauty pageant winner, into a committee under the Health Ministry.
The appointment of Rania was to represent the transgender community as a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Malaysia for the 2019-2021 term.
Her appointment went viral after Rania posted her letter of appointment, which was signed by Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye
Her appointment was criticised by various quarters.
Dr Lee defended Rania’s appointment in a statement, saying that CCM Malaysia was formed in 2009 with an aim to tackle HIV/AIDS via a contribution from Global Fund.
“As required by Global Fund, CCM members are made up of 25 people representing stakeholders such as government agencies, NGOs, academicians and community representatives from targeted groups.
“These targeted groups include transgender, men-who-have-sex-with-men, female sex workers, drug-users and people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Dr Lee.