Nur Sajat arrested in Thailand, says report
COSMETICS entrepreneur Nur Sajat is said to be seeking asylum in Australia, after it was found that she had been temporarily detained in Bangkok for an immigration offence, Harian Metro reports.
The Malay-language daily, quoting unnamed sources, said 36-year-old transgender Nur Sajat – who is wanted by Islamic authorities in Malaysia, which accuse her of cross-dressing – was arrested at a luxury condominium in Bangkok during a raid by Thai immigration authorities on September 8.
Nur Sajat, whose birth name is reportedly Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman, was detained that evening based on information provided to the Thai authorities by Malaysian officials.
Harian Metro said that while in detention, it was discovered that her passport had been cancelled by the Home Ministry. She was charged on September 9 in a Thai court and released on bail the following day.
“She told Thai Immigration authorities that she is in the process of seeking asylum in Australia. Investigations also found that Nur Sajat obtained her UNHCR card from the organisation’s head office in Bangkok,” Harian Metro’s source said.
Harian Metro said Malaysian authorities are still in negotiations with the Thai government to have Nur Sajat brought back to face trial in the shariah high court on suspicion of crossdressing, which has been pending since 2018.
The source said the entrepreneur’s extradition was “difficult” because there are “certain countries and organisations that are hindering it”.
Nur Sajat, who revealed in 2016 that she was born a hermaphrodite but raised as a man, has said several times that the name Muhammad Sajjad is not on her identity card.
She has received death threats and is Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s most wanted, which said earlier this year that it would send 122 of its officers to arrest her after she missed a Shariah court hearing.
Nur Sajat is charged under Selangor shariah law with 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 sentence is a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both, if convicted.
The cross-dressing offence dates back to an event where she wore a pink baju kurung to a religious event she organised in 2018.
In March this year, Nur Sajat caused further controversy in a video, in which she renounced Islam.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT