Malaysian Raid of Transgender Fundraiser Underscores Bad Trade Deal

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2016
Contact: Jerame Davis

Malaysian Raid of Transgender Fundraiser Underscores Bad Trade Deal

Washington, DC – A recent raid on a fundraiser organized by Malaysian transgender activists has once again put the country’s abuses of LGBTQ human rights under the spotlight. As the US Congress contemplates passage of the massive and destructive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that includes Malaysia, that country continues to demonstrate why it should not be given preferential trade status with any country that believes in basic human rights. Pride at Work Executive Director, Jerame Davis, issued the following statement after learning about the raid and arrest of transgender activists:

“We have said repeatedly that Malaysia, and its even more regressive neighbor Brunei, should not be included in the TPP. This incident is further proof that Malaysia will not voluntarily end the abuse and harassment of its LGBTQ citizens and that pinky promises and side agreements are not enough to ensure compliance with basic international human rights standards.

“The White House and the State Department stated numerous times that LGBTQ human rights were being discussed and would be addressed in the TPP. Nothing appears in the main text of the agreement nor any of the unenforceable side agreements between individual countries. And despite assurances from the Administration that LGBTQ human rights abuses were part of the discussion with Malaysia around TPP, it is abundantly clear that the country has not taken anything in those conversations seriously.

“We renew our call to Congress to vote down the TPP. Inclusion of Malaysia and Brunei in this gargantuan trade deal is unacceptable. With the addition of job losses, damage to environment, further degradation of our food safety, and other expected negative impacts, it’s unbelievable the TPP has gotten this far. Now that it has been signed, there is no easy way to remove those countries or fix the other underlying problems – it must be scrapped entirely. Every member of Congress who votes for the TPP will be choosing to cede our leadership position in the fight for global human rights just to make a buck. We will not allow this to happen.”


Pride At Work organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community for social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Learn more at