This week, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismai,l warned LGBTQ+ citizens to keep their identities a secret in order to be accepted by society. This announcement comes only a couple of weeks after the country's religious affairs minister ordered two portraits of LGBTQ+ Malaysian activists be removed from an exhibition. Speaking about the controversy, the religious affairs minister said:
"Society cannot accept LGBT being promoted because that is against the norms, culture, and religion."
In the wake of the controversy, other Malaysian officials have voiced homophobic perspectives and shown their lack of acceptance. The Deputy Prime Minister added:
"As a Muslim, I have my preferences as to their rights. Homosexuality, there are laws [against it]."
Malaysia his known for it's lack of support for the LGBTQ+ community in terms of public acceptance and nation-wide laws. It is currently illegal to have gay sex in Malaysia, there are no anti-discrimination laws, same sex marriage is banned, and gay and transgender people are not recognized by the law. The streak of homophobia continued on August 18th when police raided a gay bar in the late hours of the night to "mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into [their] society."
Malaysia does not run short of examples to demonstrate the nation-wide homophobia of its officials. Earlier this month, Malaysia's Deputy Health Minister said LGBT people suffer from an "organic disorder."In April, a Malaysian university held a contest to convert gay students advertising the competition as:
"A campaign to invite friends who have [a] disorder in [their] sexual orientation to return to their natural nature in a worthwhile way."
Earlier this year, a newspaper published a checklist which assisted people with "[spotting] a gay" and the country goes as far as listing gay sex in the same category as bestiality under offences which are "against the order of nature."
However, contrary to the image the government would like to put up, they are not without their own faults and hypocrisy. The former Deputy Prime Minister, married to the current Deputy Prime Minister, has been charged twice for having gay sex and even served three years in prison before being released earlier this year.
h/t: PinkNews, Taiwan News