Sunday, July 27, 2008

Miss Universe Asia 2008 - Competing Transvestites Arrested in Malaysia

At a resort in the northeastern state of Kelantan, Malaysia, sixteen transvestites participating in the "Miss Universe Asia 2008" beauty pageant were detained by Kelantan Religious Department (Jaheaik) enforcement officers.

The bust was made on Friday night, and all of transvestites, from the state, were dressed in baju kebaya and evening gowns when detained at 9pm.

Jaheaik chief assistant director (enforcement) Mohd Abdul Aziz Mohd Noor said they were tipped off about the public who were curious by the presence of a big group of transvestites at the resort.

He said a team of 50 enforcement officers from Pasir Putih, Bachok and Kota Baru raided the resort and found about 300 people present at the pageant, including spectators.

"Another group of 50 transvestites were getting ready for the contest, but many of them managed to evade arrest.

"Sixteen people, aged between 20 to 30, were detained and taken to our office in Kota Baru for their statements to be recorded."

Most of the transvestites who took part in the pageant were from a professional background, and included teachers and bank staff.

"Action will be taken against them under Section 7 of the Kelantan Syariah Offences 1985 for dressing and acting as women.

"They can be fined up to RM1,000 or six months jail, or both," he said.

Mohd Abdul Aziz said the division would apply for a remand order before charging them in the Syariah Court.


The state of Kelantan is ruled by the Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS).

The PAS wants to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state under Islamic rule, and has made headlines for ordering fines for women wearing skimpy clothes and stricter enforcement of laws on separate male and female queues in shops.


Led by its Spiritual Leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party or better known was PAS is better known to be the Islamic Party of Malaysia. it is an Islamist political party headed by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. It was established to seek out the country to be based on the Islamic legal theory, a stand opposed by the Islam Hadhari of BN.

The party's stronghold are gathered around the northern rural and more conservative states of Malaysia. circled around the states of Kelantan, of which PAS has so far been governing, Terengganu too has many supporters. PAS recently, together with Parti Keadilan Rakyat aand Democratic Action Party recently formed the Pakatan Rakyat which controls 5 states in the country.

PAS first came into picture in 1947at the first Pan-Malayan Islamic conference at Madrasah Ma'ahad al-Ehya as-Sharif at Gunung Semanggul, Perak sponsored by the Dr. Burhanuddin al-Helmy led Parti Kesatuan Melayu Muda (PKMM). The result of the conference saw the Supreme Religious Council or the Majlis Agama Tertinggi (MATA) formed. It then continued to form political meetings and events as they felt that the then UMNO was not doing enough for the Malay-Muslims.

Then, in 1948, came about the Parti Orang Muslimin Malaya (Hizbul Muslimin) which was responsible for most of the political events. MATA became the religious affairs section but was later on banned by the British who claimed that the party had something to do with the communists, who were a constant threat to them. Some of the members then went to join UMNO which eventually observed the ulama faction breaking away to form the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Association.

In the 1955 elections, the party changed its name to the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PMIP) which was then later changed to Parti Islam Se-Malaysia.

In the later stages, PAS would eventually join other opposition parties like DAP and Keadilan in forming the Barisan Alternatif but found their strength lessened in the 2004 elections. PAS though re-emerged as a strong hold in the 2008 elections where they re-captured many parts of the states including those in Kedah.

PAS has been constantly criticizing the BN agendas although under the Asri Muda leadership was admitted to BN in 1973 to 1978. The party goes with the argument that UMNO has never done enough for the Malay-Muslim community, something they have fought off since the early years.

Some of the significant events that PAS has so far been critical of include programmes like Akademi Fantasia and Karnival Jomheboh (from TV3). They have also been critical of the government's waste of public funding in developing Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

Although PAS has advocated the Muslim Syaria laws in many ways that they think is admissible into the legislation of the country, of late, PAS has moderated their stands, thereby trying to reach out to the non-muslims for the better of the people and the party.

FINALLY - Ever wondered what American Statesman, Colin Powell would look like as a trasvestite?


Anonymous said...

I love Malaysia so much, but then I read stories like these.

Why would they have hosted this competition in the most strictly Muslim of states? I find it hard to imagine they would have encountered problems somewhere like KL or Penang. Of course, they should be free to wear what ever they like where ever they like, so bravo to them for this political statement.

I've traveled a bit around Kota Bahru and, while I did get some very puzzled reactions when I told people I was an atheist who never intended to marry or have children (they asked me), everyone was very polite and respectful. It's a shame the same courtesy doesn't extend to their fellow citizens.

Aussie Pete said...

Yes, strange choice for the location of the event... but there you have it. wow - u told people in Kota Bahru that you were atheist? Tha must have got alot of mixed reactions.

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see they were detained, they didnt disturb or commit any crime to other people.I think because the state interest itself was islam. it is an islamic state and people who are islamic should behave an muslim too.

Again that is what religion can do. Malaysia supposed to be open and caring society and i agreed in what anonymous said. Guest that malaysian gov and state are not ready for this sort of thing : (

Anonymous said...

The embracing of religion is usually the last sanctuary of a failed politician, and the begining of a descent into chaos.

Anonymous said...

pete - my favorite reply was "I have never heard anyone say that before".