The Mak Nyahs: Malaysian Male to Female Transsexuals
“Objective and compassionate, Teh Yik Koon has written not only about her research on which the book is based, but a work imbued with humanity, supported with hard facts and figures from thorough research.
Her book fills a large void in sexuality literature particularly on male transsexuality in Malaysia. It demystifies the mak nyah who is seen, at best, as a deviant or an aberration of society, or at worst, a religious blasphemy.
This book would not only benefit students and researchers interested in the issue, but the general reader—for instance, parents concerned for their transsexual children—and those seeking answers to the transsexual question.”
Ong Ju Lin
Co-author of The Rape Report: An Overview of Rape in Malaysia
“The transgendered communities of Southeast Asia are little understood, either within the academic community or in the societies at whose margins they are forced to live.
Teh’s study of the Malaysian mak nyah shines a bright light on the lives of people who, apart from growing up with an identity that fails to match their body, turn out to be much like the rest of us.
In reducing our ignorance about these people, this book should contribute to reducing the prejudice and discrimination to which mak nyahs are subjected to daily.”
Transgender Asia Research Centre, University of Hong Kong
This book explores the issue of transsexuals in Malaysia. Through numerous studies, interviews with relevant parties and accounts from the mak nyahs themselves, the book gives a profound insight into the world of transsexuals—the history and definition of mak nyahs, what it means to be a mak nyah in Malaysia, transsexuals in other countries, and the views of relevant parties regarding transsexuals in Malaysia, among others. For those who seek a deeper understanding of the mak nyahs, this book provides intriguing and enlightening facts and accounts, which help to broaden one’s perspective of this community who form part of the diversity of the human landscape.
Teh Yik Koon received her BA in law and sociology, MA in sociology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and PhD in sociology (criminology) at the London School of Economics. She was attached to Universiti Utara Malaysia as an associate professor in criminology and sociology until 2009. She then served as a full professor at the National Defence University of Malaysia until her retirement in 2022. She was a Fulbright scholar at the University of California Los Angeles in 2002 and a visiting scholar at RSIS, Nanyang Technological University in 2015.
She is an associate member of the Transgender Asia Research Centre based in the University of Hong Kong. She began researching transsexuals in Malaysia in 1996. Teh is also the author of From BMF to 1MDB: A Criminological and Sociological Discussion.