KUALA LUMPUR: In yet another anti-homosexuality statement from Malaysia’s government, Prime Minister Najib Razak told a gathering of Islamic leaders that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community would “not be tolerated” in the country.
“Anything that is against the religion, including pluralism and homosexuality, will not be tolerated,” he said.
It is the latest anti-LGBT attack in the country, which has seen the government push forward a number of initiatives in an effort to silence the growing community in the country who want equal rights under the law.
Earlier this month, the government launched an anti-LGBT education push.
The aim is to combat the “dangers and threats” of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, the deputy minister Puad Zarkashi said in comments published by Bernama news agency.
“In the past, sex education was taught indirectly through other subjects, but now the government feels that PKRS needs to be a special subject to tackle the rise in social problems among teens,” he began.
“We cannot wait longer to implement this because according to our studies, many teens in the country do not know the function and importance of healthy interaction among guys and girls,” he told reporters after launching the state-level Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Excellence Award Day.
It comes as the government here continues its attacks on the LGBT community.
According to a government statement in late June, the government views the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-sexual (LGBT) issue “seriously” and is “controlling its spread” through prevention efforts and legal enforcement, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mashitah Ibrahim again reiterated.
She said these efforts were done with the help of the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and State Religious Department (Jain) through programs such as the BEST! Tour which aimed to educate teenagers on social ills such as HIV Aids caused by homosexual lifestyles.
“A series of rehabilitation and treatment courses will also be given to Muslims who have deviated from societal norms, while Jakim and Jain have conducted a Mukhayyam program with repented transsexuals to obtain positive feedback from them,” she said in reply to an original question from Datuk Mohd Jidin (BN-Setiu) who wanted to know the government’s seriousness in tackling LGBT issues in the country.
In terms of enforcement, she said laws clearly stated in the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 (Act 559) can only be enforced on Muslims.
Mashitah said the government and state religious authorities will take legal action against any Muslims involved in LGBT and who flout laws in each state.
There are no legal and religious provisions in Malaysia that allow homosexuality, free sex and same-sex marriages, she added.