According to Harian Metro, cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman was arrested by Thai immigration authorities on 8 September. It was based on information from the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) on the whereabouts of Nur Sajat in Bangkok, Thailand.
“On June 4, Thai immigration tracked Nur Sajat’s hiding place to a luxury condo in central Bangkok. After intelligence and observation, on September 8 around 6pm (Thai time) a raid was carried out at her hiding place,” a source said, indicating that a passport belonging to the cosmetics entrepreneur has also been cancelled by the Malaysian government.
The 36-year-old was detained with a man and a Thai woman during the immigration raid.
For now, it seems like Malaysian authorities are negotiating with the Thai government to bring Nur Sajat back to Malaysia.
“Efforts to bring her home to face trial in the Shariah High Court in Selangor for the offence of dressing as a woman that she committed in Shah Alam in 2018 are underway. Negotiations are quite difficult but we remain optimistic to bring her home.
“It is difficult because there is international intervention involving certain countries and organisations that are hindering it,” the source said.
The source also added that Nur Sajat was taken to and detained at the Thai Immigration Headquarters’ Branch of Illegal Immigrants for offences related to immigration in the country.
“On September 9, Nur Sajat was charged in a Thai court for the offence. However, Nur Sajat was released on September 10 on a US$2,000 (RM8,343) bail made by a local. The money was paid by an acquaintance known as Misha who reportedly flew to Thailand for Nur Sajat’s bail,” the source said.
When asked about Nur Sajat’s location now, the source said that she is still sheltering in a luxury condominium in central Bangkok and she was instructed to appear at the Thai immigration office every 14 days.
ICYMI, this all started because Nur Sajat appeared at a religious event in a baju kurung, three years ago. While she has not claimed to be a transgender woman, she was outed as one when a picture of her old identity card went viral a few years back.
The Shariah Court charged her under Section 10(a) of the Shariah Crimes (State of Selangor) Enactment 1995 which provides for a sentence not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both, if convicted.
Section 10 refers to the Shariah offence of insulting Islam or causing Islam to be insulted either by mocking or blaspheming the faith and its associated practices and rituals either in a written, pictorial or photographic form.
The manhunt started when the cosmetics entrepreneur missed a Shariah Court hearing date in February this year. Her absence from proceedings then triggered a search party by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), who had said they empowered 122 personnel and enforcement officers to find and arrest Nur Sajat.
The LGBT community in Malaysia has been subjected to insurmountable scrutiny, pain and vitriol and none of this is done behind closed doors.
A study by SUHAKAM, Malaysia’s human rights commission, found that 57% of trans women interviewed in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor had experienced discrimination, including being denied employment, education, housing, or health care because their appearance did not match the gender on their identity card.
This discrimination pushes many trans people to society’s margins.