Dr M on Rania’s appointment: I don’t know her gender

Dr M on Rania’s appointment: I don’t know her gender

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was not aware of the gender of the person recently appointed into a committee under the Health Ministry.

“What transgender? Have you checked her? Is she really a transgender?

“I don’t know if she is a transgender. I haven’t met with her,” said Mahathir at a press conference in Parliament today.

Recently, Rania Zara Medina, a transwoman, was appointed as Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) committee member under the Health Ministry for year 2019 to 2021.

According to the Global Fund, CCM are national committees from each country that submit funding applications to Global Fund on behalf of the entire country.

They include representatives from the government, private sector, technical partners, civil society and communities living with diseases.

Rania’s appointment order was signed by Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

Several social media users poured scorn on Rania’s appointment, with most of the netizens attacking her for being a transwoman.

However, Lee defended Rania’s appointment saying that CCM Malaysia was formed in 2009 with an aim to tackle HIV/AIDS via a contribution from Global Fund.

“As required by Global Fund, CCM members are made up of 25 people representing stakeholders such as government agencies, NGOs, academicians and community representatives from targeted groups.

“These targeted groups include transgender, men-who-have-sex-with-men, female sex workers, drug-users and people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Dr Lee.