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9 Apr 2018

Transgender Chef Reports International Restaurant to Human Rights Commission in Malaysia

Transgender woman accuses high-end restaurant chain Nobu of telling her to act like a man if she wanted the job.

Transgender woman Shairazi Bahari reported the Malaysian branch of high-end restaurant Nobu to the Human Rights Commission this week, reporting that the restaurant offered her a job in the restaurant conditional on her changing the way she dressed, the Guardian reports.


"I got a call from the HR lady where she was telling me that they were really keen on hiring me, but they had issue with my appearance, and would I consider the offer with the condition that I cut my hair, wear a male uniform and use the male toilets," Bahari told the Guardian.

"I don't think they wanted anything like that in writing so they gave me a phone call."

The experienced chef told the Guardian there had been awkward moments in the job interview when Bahari said she faced awkward questions about how she would conform to the restaurant's dress and grooming codes.

Referring to Bahari, Vriesia Ng, Malaysian HR executive at Nobu told the Guardian in an email that: "The candidate did not match our requirement and therefore was not successful."

In a report released last month, Human Rights Watch said abuse of LGBT in Malaysia continues and advised the country to repeal provisions that criminalize transgender, stop conducting police raids against transgender people, allow transgender to match identity cards to expressed gender identity, and repeal article 377B of Malaysia's penal code.

Reader's Comments

1. 2018-04-09 08:59
The Malaysian "Old Guard" isn't going to let the LGBT grow and develop if they can stop it by any means. I am so glad to hear that individuals are speaking out and contacting organizations like Human Rights Watch to make the world more aware of how the Malaysian government is not willing to change in a positive matter. The old guard needs to go bye bye and new blood, with forward-thinking, needs to be introduced into the government.

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