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Malaysia transsexual who lost name fight dies

KUALA LUMPUR--A 25-year-old transsexual who lost a court battle in Muslim-majority Malaysia to change his name to that of a woman has died, a report citing heart problems said Sunday.

On July 18, a high court in conservative eastern Terengganu state ruled that a person's sex was determined at birth so Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz could not change the name on his identity card to that of a female. The Sunday Star newspaper said Ashraf was admitted to a hospital on Friday for low blood pressure and chest pains, having earlier suffered a bout of vomiting and dizzy spells.

Ashraf, a former pharmaceutical assistant who underwent a full sex-change operation in neighboring Thailand in 2008, was born with an abnormally small penis, and died on Friday due to a heart problem, doctors said.

He was buried as a man according to Muslim rites.

Ashraf's mother Mah Yah, 50, said her only regret was that her child was not able to wear a pink Malay traditional costume — baju kurung — which Ashraf was excited to wear for the upcoming Eid festival.

“Ashraf was an extremely loving and good person,” she said.

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