"It Was Traumatising" – PDRM & JAWI Raid Private Drag Queen Halloween Party At REXKL

Over 20 individuals were arrested including transwomen and drag queens.

Cover image via Provided to SAYS & @NumanAfifi (Twitter)

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A private drag queen Halloween party, Shagrilla, was raided by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) on Saturday, 29 October

The Halloween party was attended by the LGBTQIA+ community, who all dressed up for the occasion following the party's theme, Club Kids Are Dead.

One of the event attendees told this SAYS writer that the event, which was held at REXKL, was raided by PDRM and JAWI at approximately 9.40pm, minutes after the partygoers had all entered the venue.

What was supposed to be a safe space and event for the community was cut short when the music stopped, and the attendees realised something was amiss.

According to the source, PDRM and JAWI separated the audience by gender, then individually checked each person to see if they were crossdressing

Following gender separation, the police divided the group based on religious beliefs. One group comprised Muslims, while the other comprised people of other faiths.

According to activist Numan Afifi, who was also arrested at the event, the event had over 1,000 attendees and was raided by 40 religious officers backed by the police, reported New Straits Times.

Numan also described the raid as "traumatising and harrowing".

A Black Maria truck transported 20 Muslims to JAWI's office, where they were detained, including drag queens who were cross-dressing in their Halloween costumes and transwomen

While those detained were being led out of the venue to be transported, the LGBTQIA+ community and allies applauded and cheered in solidarity for them.

Numan also stated that some of those detained were accused of offences related to cross-dressing, while the others were detained for encouraging vice.

All 20 people detained at JAWI's office in Tasik Perdana, Kuala Lumpur, were released on the same night after activists were able to obtain lawyers and bail them out.

Meanwhile, REXKL has issued a statement regarding the raid and expressed support for the LGBTQIA+ community:

In June, Carmen Rose, a drag artist, shared with SAYS about the world of drag in Malaysia:

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