Friday, May 9, 2014

Penang govt keeps transgender issue at arm’s length

GEORGE TOWN: The DAP-helmed Penang government is seen to have distanced itself from a statebackbencher on the transgender issue.

DAP’s Tanjung Bungah state representative Teh Yee Cheu announced yesterday that he would propose a motion at the next assembly sitting starting on May 19 to set up a transgender institute in Penang.
But Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng revealed today that Teh was moving ahead with the transgender motion without the consent of his Pakatan Rakyat state administration.

Lim, who is also the DAP secretary-general acknowledged that Teh had all the right to propose his motion as an assemblyman.
But, Lim stressed that the motion would be Teh’s and not of his government.
Lim hinted that the backbencher would be on his own on the subject matter unless he discussed it with the state government.
“We will talk to him and see whether he will be willing to come back as a team in this issue,” Lim told newsmen at the sidelines of a groundbreaking ceremony to upgrade Padang Brown food complex
Teh has expressed hopes that the state government would allow for him to table the motion on a proposal to set up a RM200,000 transgender institute in Penang.
Teh said he had not received any feedback since proposing it to the state government in 2010.
The DAP state committee member said that a study by Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2001 revealed that Penang already had 20,000 transgender persons then.
Last year, Teh hired a transgender to be his assistant.
When contacted today, Teh declined to comment on Lim’s remarks, saying that he would respond in due time.
On another note, Teh also slammed PAS for attempting to implement hudud law in the country, questioning the Islamist party’s motive and agenda on an issue that contravenes the constitution.
“PAS’ so called aims to form a welfare based country is questionable as the law could be wrongly used by politicians and abuse their power in influencing people’s beliefs to maintain their power,” said Teh.