The suggestion that transgender persons use toilets meant for the disabled (OKU) was not intended to upset the feelings of the latter, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Fuziah Salleh.
She said it was a merely a solution to resolve the issue of the welfare of transgender persons who might not feel safe or comfortable using the men’s or women’s toilets.
“Sad that this issue has been blown out of proportion, I was only giving a suggestion because the handicapped person’s toilet is private, not shared with men or women.
“It was not intended to belittle the OKU group, it is only a possible solution, because right now, if they cannot use the men’s or women’s toilets, where do they go?” she told Bernama after appearing as a guest on the "Diskusi Seputar Isu" programme titled 'LGBT : Between Punishment and Guidance” on Bernama Radio today.
Fuziah said she would be meeting with representatives of the OKU community tomorrow to discuss the issue and said she was committed to helping them too.
Last Monday, Fuziah suggested the temporary measure as the best solution to the issue after taking into consideration the feelings voiced by some women who felt unsafe with transgender persons using women’s toilets.
However, the suggestion was met with strong reaction from various parties including television personality and founder and chairperson of non-governmental organisation OKU Sentral, Ras Adiba Radzi who protested against the suggestion and questioned why they should share their toilets with the able-bodied.
Meanwhile, in the one-hour live programme, Fuziah said the issue of LGBT must be tackled in a holistic manner with a commitment from everyone.
She said society had an important role to play in creating a positive environment for the transgender by understanding and accepting their situation without sidelining or discriminating against them.
“I am afraid that when people show that they are better than the LGBT group, they may actually be committing a sin by driving them away from Islam,” she said.