Nur Sajat and the cost of mak nyah's visibility online
8 min read

Nur Sajat and the cost of mak nyah's visibility online

Nur Sajat is revamping her social media for a new life, but the impact of visibility on Malaysian trans women is more complex than it seems.
Nur Sajat and the cost of mak nyah's visibility online

This article continues from Zurairi A.R.'s Malay Mail piece on transgender entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman's rebuilding her life after fleeing Malaysia for refuge in Australia.

She also spoke about the conduct of state Islamic authorities that led to her fearing for her safety and life, and what happened when she first fled to Thailand en route to Australia. You can read it here: Now free in Australia, Nur Sajat eager to rebuild business and join Malaysian diaspora

After years of being harassed by Malaysian religious authorities over her gender identity which led to a hunt extending to Thailand, transgender entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman revealed last week that she has found asylum in Australia.

For the next chapter of her life, Nur Sajat said she is aiming to rebuild the business that she has left behind and trying to fit in with Australian life – complete with a new home that comes with a backyard to host barbie sessions.

She is also attempting to start a new life online.

Ostensibly thrown into popularity through her presence on social media, Nur Sajat's Instagram account @nursajat23 had at its peak 1.6 million followers. With her new life, comes a new slate.

She has since started a new Instagram account @nursajatkamaruzzaman, telling BBNU that she wants to be more selective about her audience.

The reason behind this sounds familiar to many who do not conform to the mainstream in Malaysia, but especially for the transgender community, known as "mak nyah" in Malay: social media visibility brings verbal abuse, sexual harassment and death threats.

We speak to Nur Sajat from Australia and other mak nyah activists on the cost behind visibility in social media for the community, for subscribers only. 👇

(This article is temporarily available for free members as well during this trial period. Just register here, and choose the "Free" plan)

This post is for subscribers only