KUALA LUMPUR: The appointment as Rania Zara Medina as a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Malaysia for the 2019 - 2021 term followed procedures that were already in place.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye in a statement this evening explained that CCM Malaysia was formed as a result of Cabinet ministers in 2009 wanting to find ways to tackle HIV/AIDS via a contribution from Global Fund.
Among the main roles of CCM Malaysia was the application for allocation under Global Fund as well as observing and providing technical support of the project.
"The Health Ministry is the coordinator and it is chaired by the Deputy Health Minister," Lee said.
He said the first CCM chairman was then deputy health minister, Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.
This was later followed by Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin and Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
Following procedure, the role is now held by Lee himself.
"As required by Global Fund, CCM members are made of 25 people representing stakeholders such as government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO), academicians and community representatives from targeted groups.
"Among these targeted groups include transgenders, men-sex-with-men, female sex workers, 'people who use drug' and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV)," he said.
These representatives are selected from the communities they represent and their appointments are made official by a letter from CCM's chairman.
"CCM's function is to control HIV/AIDS in line with the National Strategic Plan to tackle HIV/AIDS in the country," Lee added.
The Global Fund is a partnership which is designed to speed up the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
As mentioned on their website, the international organisation mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion a year to support programmes run by local experts in more than 100 countries.
Rania's appointment created a stir on social media today after she posted her appointment letter on Facebook.
A transwoman, Rania reacted on Facebook after the backlash, stating that CCM had been in existence for many years.
"This has nothing to do with the new government. There has been a position for transwomen to be represented since the time of Datuk Seri Najib (Razak). Please understand, do not jump without knowledge," she posted, believed to be as a response to those who criticised the appointment as a "new government problem".