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Joint Statement Islamic NGOs Against The Research Proposals Of “Feasibility Of Having Legislation Of The Recognition Of A Third Gender In Malaysia” By The Human Rights Commission Of Malaysia (Suhakam)

  1. We, as citizens of Malaysia strongly oppose the proposal to recognise The Third Gender in Malaysia by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) entitled “Feasibility of Having Legislation of the Recognition of a Third Gender in Malaysia”.
  2. A number of non governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals have written in support of SUHAKAM by using erroneous arguments in their joint statement entitled ‘Responding to Parti Islam Se-Malaysia’s (PAS) Criticism of the Research on “Feasibility of Having Legislation of the Recognition of a Third Gender in Malaysia” by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)’ dated 16th June 2021 in Free Malaysia Today and Malaysiakini portals.
  3. The objection in efforts of recognising the third gender has not only been made by Parti Islam-Semalaysia (PAS), but also by scores of other non-political entities, NGOs and religious agencies alike. We, therefore, extend a similar invitation to many others regardless of political parties or affiliations, types of civil societies and individuals as well as pro-family Malaysians as a whole to stand together to oppose and be counted; to reject an effort that will see a waste of money, time and resources apart from the fact that it is clearly against the country’s Federal Constitution, religions and cultures.
  4. The Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organizations in the UPR Process (MACSA) had also objected to this, and had launched a petition urging SUHAKAM to cancel this non-independent study that contradicts family values and Islamic principles. The petition has reached almost 30 thousand signatures in 2 days.
  5. We slam the anti-science and anti-intellectual allegations levelled against anyone objecting to this “study” because academics in various NGO coalitions had identified researchers’ lack of independence in delivering the results. The terms of reference have stated that any results or findings must be in support of the predetermined objectives outlined by SUHAKAM, which is “to develop comprehensive legislative reforms to set out guidelines for gender recognition for transgender people in Malaysia”.
  6. We also object to the statement of the NGOs in support of SUHAKAM which cited a method of fiqh that ‘change of law occurs with the change of place, time and circumstances’ which is not according to the established method of tafsir in the law on tasyabbuh (imitating the opposite sex). From the list of NGOs that support SUHAKAM, it is clear that no party has the authority in the method of fiqh.
  7. This is not the first time Sheikh Tantawi’s views have been quoted irresponsibly.
  8. In the case of Sally Mursi, where a lengthy debate on the matter has already been conducted academically by Skovgaard-Petersen (1995), M.J. Veneuse (2010) and M. Alipour (2017), Sheikh Tantawi warned that this surgery should not be performed simply because of a personal desire to change gender. In his own words the Syeikh stated “This operation cannot be granted at the mere wish to change sex with no clear and convincing corporal motives.”

Otherwise, those who has surgery at the mere wish will be regarded as those mentioned in the hadith of al-Bukhari. The hadith states:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ لَعَنَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمُخَنَّثِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ، وَالْمُتَرَجِّلاَتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed those men who are effeminate and women who imitate men.

  1. Sheikh Tantawi had also set some guidance in gender change surgery. According to him this kind of surgery can only be done to reveal hidden organs from male or female organs and after obtaining examination and advice of a medical specialist, but sex reassignment surgery cannot be done simply out of a personal desire to change his/her gender.
  2. In the case of Sari Kartina Binti Abdul Karim who was married off by the Deputy Mufti of Johor, Datuk Syed Alwee Abdullah in 1975, we took note that several times, this example was used without the accompanying fact that the good Deputy Mufti only decided to do so after he was satisfied with the letter from the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Surgery, University of Singapore Professor Dr S.S. Ratnam to him, dated 5th November 1974, indicating that there was a clear medical indication in the case of Sari Kartina.
  3. We would like to emphasize that the Malaysia Federal Constitution and our existing laws must continue to be upheld. The laws from other countries should not be used without taking into account the aspects of the local situations and by local jurists/scholars.
  4. It should also be noted that Pakistan which was referred to in the statement by the NGOs supporting SUHAKAM, is the same country that had submitted a statement on behalf of the organisation of Islamic countries (OIC) in the panel discussion on ‘discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity’ on 7 March 2012. Pakistan had reiterated:

‘It must be recognized that the international community agrees, as enshrined in the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action as well as in UNGA resolution 60/251, that in considering human rights issues, the special characteristics of a country and region, as well as various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds, must be taken into account. Indecent behaviour encouraged under the concept of ‘sexual orientation’ is against the basic teachings of various religions including Islam. From this perspective, legalizing homosexuality and other personal sexual conduct in the name of sexual orientation is not acceptable at all for the OIC. ‘

OIC member states consider that everyone has the right to enjoy human rights and that sexual orientation should not be given special status in this regard. Our opposition to the notion of sexual orientation also stems from the fact that it also encompasses social normalization, and may justify wrongdoing, including paedophilia and incest. ’

  1. The negative implications to the family institution that will follow when the third sex is recognised must be given due serious attention, as was the case in Singapore when the Registry of Marriages annulled marriages. In one reported case the couple was married as man and woman but one later underwent a sex change. Singapore law does not recognise a marriage where both parties are of the same sex. At the point of marriage, a couple must be man and woman, and must want to be and want to remain as man and woman in the marriage.
  2. We would also like to correct the statement of SUHAKAM Commissioner, Hishamudin Yunus as published by FMT on 16 June 2021 which justified SUHAKAM to continue the study because ‘transgender is a“ medical condition ”that cannot be treated and plagues a person for life”. This statement did not only contradict the latest stance of the World Health Organizations (WHO) which no longer classified transgender under ‘mental health condition’ in 2019 but also closes the opportunity for transgender people to resolve any polemics within them through the various counselling and guidance methods available.
  3. We hereby urge the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) to discontinue any efforts towards the recognition of the third gender, including the offer of research that is aimed at such recognition. SUHAKAM as an institution established by the Parliament of Malaysia should take into account the views of all stakeholders in handling any human rights issue. Efforts towards the recognition of the third gender will affect not only a few individuals but all Malaysians and it certainly violates our Federal Constitution, Rukunegara and Islamic Shariah law.

Malaysians who would like to participate in the petition with MACSA may record your support here.




3.https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/…/beritaharian19751107-1.2.4 fbclid=IwAR2tVjSs7ioZsEQz0EYtM1ggV7MxcaV_rgAk11MoXgEGYDVoHCBKGhE-ny



Prof Madya Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar
Co-chairperson of Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (MACSA)


  1. Ability Generate Insan (AGI)
  2. Alam Selangor
  3. Alumni IPT Melaka
  4. Amal Prihatin Negeri Melaka
  5. Annisa Kijal
  6. Association of Muslima for Nurture and Advocacy (AMNA)
  7. Dewan Wanita Majlis Dakwah Negara (MDN)
  8. Gabungan Sekolah Islam Swasta (GASIS)
  9. Gerakan 153
  10. Himpunan Anak Kedah Malaysia (HAKeM)
  11. Ikatan Graduan Melayu Sarawak (IGMS)
  12. Ikatan Guru- Guru Muslim Malaysia (i-Guru)
  13. Ikatan Inspirasi Muslim Malaysia (Inspirasi Muslim)
  14. Ikatan Muslim Prihatin Kebangsaan (IMPAK)
  15. Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA)
  16. Ikatan Pengamal Perubatan dan Kesihatan Muslimin Malaysia (I-Medik)
  17. Ikatan Wanita Islam Selangor (EWANIS)
  18. International Association For Women’s Advocacy dan Rights Malaysia (i-AWARE)
  19. International Commpassionate Muslimah-Inspired Welfare Club Malaysia (INSPIRE)
  20. Islamic and Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI)
  21. Kelab Gabungan Muslimah Aktif Air Putih (GAMA)
  22. Kelab Kebajikan Aafiyah Istiqamah
  23. Kelab Kebajikan Kasih Hawa Terengganu
  24. Kelab Kebajikan Muslimah Muda Cukai Kemaman Terengganu (YOUNG MUSLIMAH CARE)
  25. Kelab Kebajikan Wanita Masih Ada Yang Sayang Terengganu (KEMAYANG)
  26. Kelab Kebajikan Wiranita Terengganu (KEKWA)
  27. Kelab Patriotisme Kelantan
  28. Kelab Penggiat Media Sosial Wanita Inspirasi Terengganu (MASWIN)
  29. Kelab Seni Budaya dan Sukan (KSBS)
  30. Kelab Sosial dan Kebajikan Cakna Puncak Alam ( iCARE)
  31. Kelab Sukarelawan MOSWA
  32. Kelab Sukarelawan Sejahtera Terengganu Unggul (RESTU)
  33. Kelab Titian Rohani Pasir Mas ( KETITIR)
  34. Kifahuna Jemaa
  35. Majlis Guru PASTI Pahang
  37. Muhajirah Wafiq
  38. Multiracial Reverted Muslim (MRM)
  39. National Alliance for Justice Malaysia (NAJM)
  40. Nisa’ Dungun
  41. Nisa’ Malaysia
  42. Nisa Selayang
  43. Nisa Shah Alam
  44. Pencinta Sungai
  45. Persatuan Amal Barakah Malaysia
  46. Persatuan Aspirasi Pasir Mas
  47. Persatuan Generasi Prihatin (Gen-P)
  48. Persatuan Graduan UK dan Eire (iPRO)
  49. Persatuan Guru Takmir
  50. Persatuan Hawa Harmoni Seberang Takir, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu
  51. Persatuan Hawa Prihatin Dungun (PERHATIN)
  52. Persatuan Ikatan Rakan Ehsan Tempatan Selangor (ERAT)
  53. Persatuan Insaf Pahang (PIP)
  54. Persatuan Islah Cinta Komuniti Negeri Perak
  55. Persatuan Kebajikan Halwanita Terengganu
  56. Persatuan Kebajikan Jasa Watan Malaysia
  57. Persatuan Kebajikan Kasih Wanita Islam Selangor (PEKASIH)
  58. Persatuan Kebajikan OKU Pendengaran Kawasan Seputeh (PKOPKS)
  59. Persatuan Kebajikan Setia Insani Terengganu
  60. Persatuan Kebajikan Sosial Wanita Islam Terengganu
  61. Persatuan Kebajikan Teman Masyarakat Terengganu
  62. Persatuan Kebajikan Wanita Hulu Selangor (DM Care)
  63. Persatuan Kebajikan Wanita MAWADDAH DUN Buluh Gading
  64. Persatuan Kebajikan Wanita Selayang (PERKAWANIS)
  65. Persatuan Misi Kembara Dakwah
  66. Persatuan Peguam-Peguam Muslim Malaysia (PPMM)
  67. Persatuan Pengimarah Muar Johor
  68. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Ketereh
  69. Persatuan Sinergi Srikandi Aspirasi Kuala Krai
  70. Persatuan Sukarelawan Tun Teja Melaka
  71. Persatuan Sukarelawan Wanita Islam Sarawak (PERWANIS)
  72. Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM)
  73. Persatuan Usahawan Wanita Bumiputra Malaysia
  74. Persatuan Wanita Berdaya Hulu Selangor
  75. Persatuan Wanita Mawwadah Jeli
  76. Persatuan Wanita Prihatin Jeli
  77. Persatuan Wanita Sejahtera Melaka (PWSM)
  78. Persatuan Wanita Sejahtera Negeri Kelantan
  79. Persatuan Wanita Sejahtera Parlimen Padang Besar
  80. Pertubuhan Al-Ihsan Pasir Mas
  81. Pertubuhan Amal Kebajikan dan Perubatan Malaysia (MediCOM)
  82. Pertubuhan Amal Perubatan Ibnu Sina Malaysia (PAPISMA)
  83. Pertubuhan Amal Wanita Daerah Pokok Sena
  84. Pertubuhan Cakna Kasih Ameerah
  85. Pertubuhan Cinta Pertiwi
  86. Pertubuhan Hal Ehwal Wanita Selangor
  87. Pertubuhan Hawa Harmoni Sejahtera Terengganu (HANEES)
  88. Pertubuhan Hijrah Republique Network
  89. Pertubuhan Ikatan Ilmuwan Nasional
  90. Pertubuhan Kami Prihatin Malaysia
  91. Pertubuhan Kasih Bonda Negeri Sembilan
  92. Pertubuhan Kasih Hawa Negeri Sabah
  93. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Amal Sejagat Malaysia
  94. Pertubuhan Kebajikan An Naafi’ (PEKA)
  95. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Armalah Negeri Johor (KHAULAH)
  96. Pertubuhan Kebajikan At-Tanwiriah Malaysia
  97. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dan Amal Melaka
  98. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dan Bakti Ledang
  99. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Darul Insyirah
  100. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Insaniah SRIKANDI Malaysia (SRIKANDI)
  101. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Jasa Watan
  102. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Kembara Hijrah Negeri Johor
  103. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Madrasah Abu Bakar
  104. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Muafakat Bakri
  105. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Muafakat Bakri
  106. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Muda Melaka (YOUTHCARE MELAKA)
  107. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Perundangan Skuad Muslimat Terengganu (MUSLET)
  108. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Pontian (PAKAT)
  109. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Prihatin Skudai, Johor
  110. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Sejahtera (Sejahtera Care)
  111. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Sri Umairah Chetok
  112. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Suri Bakri
  113. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Wanita ERAT Perak
  114. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Warisan Feldawati Malaysia
  115. Pertubuhan Keilmuan Nasional
  116. Pertubuhan Lestari Alam Selangor (Alam Selangor)
  117. Pertubuhan Muslim Profesional (IMProf)
  118. Pertubuhan MyHawa Malaysia
  119. Pertubuhan Nisa’ Kelantan
  120. Pertubuhan Peduli Buruh Wanita Malaysia (PEDULI)
  121. Pertubuhan Peduli dan Prihatin Masyarakat Malaysia
  122. Pertubuhan Pendakwah Darul Ehsan
  123. Pertubuhan Pendokong Sekolah Agama Rakyat Negeri Perak (PPSR)
  124. Pertubuhan Penggerak Masyarakat Malaysia (PENGGERAK MALAYSIA)
  125. Pertubuhan Pondok Pendidikan Dewasa
  126. Pertubuhan Prihatin Harmoni Wanita Melaka
  127. Pertubuhan Prihatin, Johor Bahru, Johor (JB Prihatin)
  128. Pertubuhan SAKEENAH Batu Gajah Perak
  129. Pertubuhan Srikandi Tumpat
  130. Pertubuhan Sukaralewan Aulad Terengganu (PESAT)
  131. Pertubuhan Sukarelawan Bakti Islam Machang (SUBIM)
  132. Pertubuhan Tindakan Keadilan & Hak Asasi (‘ADALAH)
  133. Pertubuhan Wanita Bestari Kelantan
  134. Pertubuhan Wanita Bukit Tuku
  135. Pertubuhan Wanita Cakna Sejahtera (WAJAH)
  136. Pertubuhan Wanita Dinamik Putrajaya
  137. Pertubuhan Wanita Inspirasi Semua WISE
  138. Pertubuhan Wanita Melaka Sejahtera
  139. Pertubuhan Wanita Sejahtera Pasir Mas
  140. Projek Anak Muda Islam – PAMI
  141. Projek Tuisyen Ummah (PROTU)
  142. Pusat Kecemerlangan Pendidikan Ummah (PACU)
  143. Raudhatul Huffaz (RH)
  144. Sahabat Alam Sejahtera Malaysia
  145. Sahabat Mesra Pontian
  146. Sahabat Muslimah Saidatina Aisyah
  147. Sahabat Perihatin Tanjung Piai
  148. Sekretariat NGOi Komuniti Hijrah
  149. Tagupi Membaca
  150. The International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education (WAFIQ)
  151. Yayasan Dakwah Malaysia (YADIM)
  152. Yayasan Ihtimam Malaysia (YIM)

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