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Transsexuals: Ministry to provide support
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15:
The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development will provide support to transsexuals in the form of counselling, job assistance and shelter.
Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the job of the ministry was to provide welfare to all citizens, especially those who were marginalised by society.
However, anything beyond that will have to be referred to other government departments.
"We will do the counselling and provide support, but the law is the law. Religious issues should go to the religious department and issues concerning the registering of marriages will be referred to the Home Affairs Ministry."
Shahrizat was commenting on the Government's refusal yesterday to recognise the marriage between a man and his spouse who had a sex change operation to become a woman.
Jessie Chung, a businesswoman, who three years ago was a man before undergoing a sex change operation, got married to accountant Joshua Beh in a high-profile wedding in Kuching last Saturday.
"This is a sensitive issue and the ministry cannot make a judgement on a matter such as this without giving it more long-term attention,"she said after opening the Third Asean and Second Asean plus 3 Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development today.
More than 50 officers from Asean countries, China, Japan and South Korea attended the meeting.
She also said that it may be time for the Government to consider this segment of society since their numbers seemed to be on the rise.
She also said the issue should be handled with care since it involved religious sensitivities, social impact as well as the welfare of the individuals
November 15, 2005 15:06 PM
Ministry Will Not Support Marriages Of Men Who Become Women
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 (Bernama) -- Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil on Tuesday said her ministry would not give support to men who became women through surgery to get married because it was illegal.
However, the ministry could provide other forms of assistance like counselling to them without prejudice, she said when commenting on the marriage between Jessie Chung, who was born a male but became a female through a sex change operation, with her Ipoh beau Joshua Beh in Kuching, Sarawak last Saturday.
Chung, whose original name was Jeffrey, underwent three major surgeries in the last three years to become a woman.
Speaking to reporters after opening the Third Asean Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development that was attended by over 50 officers from Asean countries, China, Japan and South Korea here, Shahrizat said the country's laws did not recognise marriages between men even though one partner had undergone a sex change.
But, that did not mean the ministry would neglect them, she said.
"They can seek help and in fact, the ministry has assisted families facing sexual identity conflict involving their children," she said.
However, she said only a few transvestites had sought advice from the ministry.
Shahrizat said this "gender problem" was too sensitive to be discussed openly but it required an in-depth study, more so after this marriage in Kuching.
She added that her ministry would probably launch a study with the collaboration of universities to identify why more men were becoming interested in being women.