Thanks guys for the supports. Finally, my second part has been published. It is not easy to get information from them. Tapi rasa ingin tahu yang ada dalam hati aku menguatkan diri untuk berjaga di lorong gelap tersebut untuk mendapatkan beberapa maklumat. Third part (final) will be published on next Sunday and i will try my best to get an information from the Ministry of Tourism about this issue. As Sabahan, we wanted to know whether this kind of business and social activities will be our tourism attraction?
TRANSSEXUALISM: An act against nature?
In Malaysia, any sort of act that is against the norm and an anomaly is met with wariness. Moreso for transsexuals, who are considered unnatural and unlawful. Their very existence is seen as an act against human nature which contra dicts the natural reproductive function. For the most part, this subgroup od society are considered social outcast and are not accepted. It is a hush-hush issue that is not brought up in polite conversation and any affiliation with it is met with controversy.
Although, transsexual or ‘pondans’ as colloquially known, are looked down on by individuals who label themselves as ‘straight’ and often subject to scorn, they remain true to their beliefs.
Local transsexual who have earned a living trough prostitution and were subsequently arrested by authorities are even stubborn enough to reveal they would return to their ways after serving time in prison.
In any religion, transsexuality is neither reconised nor eccepted. According to Islam fatwa’s (religious ruling), males are not allowed to wear women’s clothing. Mlae-to-female transsexual will still be considered as male because it was their sex assigned at birth, even if they have undergone sex reassignment surgery. There is no leeway around what is considered natural and ‘right’ in term of religion. Unlike modern societal beliefs, religion does not accomodate or tolerate any cultural evolution.
Case to point the fatwa introduced in 1983 by the Conference of Rulers in Malaysia which prohibited sex change operation among muslims. Cross-dressing was also prohibited where muslim transsexuals stood the risk of being referred to the Islamic Affairs Department.
If these individuals were picked up for ‘indecent behaviour,’ they could be charged under the Federal Syariah Criminal Act and face a fine up to RM1,000 or spend time behind bars. In stark contrast, non-muslim transsexual arrested for ‘indecent behaviour,’ only face a minimum fine between RM25 and RM50 under civil law.
One of Kampung Air’s newcomers to the business, who only wanted to be identified as Tyna and had just completed his diploma in Medical Laboratory Management from a private college in Shah Alam said the fine set by Syariah Courts for muslim transsexuals was a waste of time, “Our friends would simply raise the money through our ‘business’ and pay the fine using haram (illicit) money,”
“Being muslim, it might be a bit difficult as we have to pay a higher amount compared to the non-muslims. Why can’t the syariah officals consider our situation? Do they want us to convert and become ‘murtad’ or accept us as human beings?” asked the 21-year-old.
He also asked for his so-called male counterparts to respect them.
“Can you men out there who consider yourselves ‘normal’ give us some dignity so we can move around in the community without being looked down upon? We are human beings too,” said Tyna, who speaks fluent English and Malay.
Tyna disclosed that ‘she’ had applied for jobs in town but could not stand the way people treated her because of her appearence.
“I turned to sex work because things just did not work out. I could not get a decent paying job. I cannot continue the nine-to-five job so I had no other choice but to offer myself to earn a living,” stressed Tyna who earns between RM1,000 to RM2,000 a month by ‘entertaining’ customers.
Tyna is aware that prostitution is illegal in Malaysia but believed ‘transsexual prostitution’ can be solved if the public accepts them as part of the community.
Other than the Islamic point of view, Pastor Joshua Jasbon from Rumah Cahaya Injil of Lumut Perak similary stressed that Christianity also prohibits transsexual.
He said ‘pondan’ are considered as a solution to the same gender interest.
“In the past, a male-to-male relationship are known as gay. But as the relationship envolves, the more dominant man will continue to act as a man while the other will be the she-male, thus giving way to transsexuality.
Transforming into women is their answer to a more satisfying relationship,” Pastor Josyua explained, continuing to say that transsexual are not limited to urban areas.
“They are everywhere, in small towns and even in villages. Since it is still a taboo, many of them still hide in the closet, acting like any normal person who goes to church or the mosque while keeping their little secret to themselves or their partner,” he said.
Pastor Josyua stressed that the history of sexual relations between men are clearly forbidden as written in Torah (Lev.18:22). He said the Bible’s Old Testaments Exodus 19:1-29 tells the story of sodomy.
“To put it briefly, in Genesis 18:20, the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin!
“Genesis 19:11 also wrote ‘And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they were unable to find the door,'” said Pastor Josyua, who also quoted Deuteronomy 22:5 ‘Woman shall not wear a mens apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God.’
In short, Josyua calls to the pondans to repent, because, according to him“Tthe kingdom of heaven is nearer as written in Matthews 3:2
He believes that repent and being remorse is the first step to be closer to God.
“We will remain sinful if we do not repent. Being remorse would be the only way to save our soul,” said Pastor Josyua.