Malaysia: Alarm over course to convert transgender women in Terengganu

KUALA LUMPUR • A Malaysian state plans to run a conversion therapy course aimed at transgender women, officials said yesterday, sparking alarm among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in the conservative Muslim-majority country.

The course would run over several days next year after the authorities have completed a survey of the transgender population, a Terengganu state official said.

Participation in the course would be voluntary, Terengganu executive council member Ghazali Taib said, adding that the programme would include medical, psychological and religious experts, as well as transgender women who have "returned to normal lives".

"Transgender women are part of our society... They are our responsibility," Mr Ghazali told Agence France-Presse.

"At the end, it is up to them to make a choice. The government's concept is not (to) force. (We) give them a path to make the best choices for their lives," he said.

LGBT activists have condemned the government's plans.

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