Guidelines created for Malaysian parents to see if their children could be gay

September 21, 2012 7:49 pm

At a seminar in Penang, guidelines were made known by a parents and teachers group as to what to look out for to see if your child is gay or lesbian. Even more astounding, these stereotypical claims were reputably backed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassinmen, the country’s Minister of Education and deputy Prime Minister.

‘Symptoms’ to identify whether or not your son is gay include having a muscular body, wearing a v-neck top, skinny jeans, tight and light coloured clothing, sleeveless clothes that show off his physique, and carrying a handbag like women do at social occasions. A description, some would argue, of the metrosexual man who has been walking the streets for over a decade. The clues to identify lesbians were a little less visual. It was said that they don’t like to hang around with groups of women, only their lover, they like to eat and sleep with women, and have no interest in the male sex. Doesn’t sound like any lesbian that I have met?

These stereotypical claims are out of date and violate the privacy of every young person in Malaysia. They are no doubt having a very negative effect on those struggling with, and coming to terms with, their individual sexual preference.

The deputy education minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi was in attendance at the ‘Parenting in addressing the issue of LGBTs’ seminar in Penang, and since then parallel events have been held at various cities in Malaysia. Puad was quoted saying ‘knowledge of the symptoms of being gay or lesbian was the best approach to address the spread of such unhealthy phenomenon among students.’

About 60% of Malaysia’s inhabitants are of the Muslim faith, and under Malaysian law partaking in anal and oral sex is punishable by caning, fines, up to 20 years in prison and even corporal punishment. The criminal code has a section that can be used to bestow supplementary chastisement for men who partake in these acts with each other and convicted Muslims can be charged in a separate Islamic court.

Activists are taking action by holding a National Wear V-Neck Day on the 1st October, and proprietors of the Fierce Curry House in Kuala Lumpar have given away free curry to the first 15 men who walk in wearing a v-neck top. Co owner Herukh Jeswant ‘…instead of joining in the fray to condemn it, we thought it would be an interesting concept to give out free biryani meals to the first 15 men who walk in with a v-neck.’

In direct response to the outrageous claims, the website fakemalaysianews.com has responded by publishing photographs of the Prime Minister Najib Tun wearing a v-neck, carrying a bag with a handle (known in the West as a manbag), wearing light coloured clothing and another with him hugging a man with the caption ‘More comfortable around Men than his wife??’ According to the guidelines set out these are all signs to watch out for.

The human rights activist in Malaysia, Clarence Sim, said that the seminars against the LGBT community ‘has everything to do with politics’, as the states that have held seminars are under control of opposing political parties. The Government is trying to frighten the largely Muslim population by portraying the LGBT community as a threat to their culture and society.

The leader of the opposition party, Anwar Ibrahim, was prosecuted for performing sodomy with his 19-year-old male driver and other unrelated crimes, in 1998, and sentenced to nine years imprisonment. He was exonerated in 2004 by the court after four years of relentless campaigning from Malaysian and International activists. He continues to protest his innocence to this day and claimed that the allegations were made by the government as his political advancement was beginning to jeopardise the governments rule.

Anwar filled a civil lawsuit and in 2007 the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad retaliated, by stating that a homosexual should not be allowed to hold office in Malaysia, and that he knew that Anwar was in fact gay.

Unfortunately for Anwar his problems did not end there, and again in 2008 he was accused of, and arrested for, sodomy after some political success had threatened the ruling party. Nevertheless Anwar won the campaign for his former seat in Parliament and is leader of the opposition party to this day.

You really don’t need to be Einstein to see a pattern developing here. It’s clear that when the going gets tough a round election time the ruling party throws anti LGBT secularism into the media to remind people of Anwar and his apparent homosexual past.

The story of Anwar and others like him are shocking in the Western world of today, but in countries with laws against homosexuality the law can be manipulated and used against anyone at anytime. Is anyone really safe?

A general election in Malaysia is fast approaching and it looks like the Government are prepared to take what ever measures they can, including reviving hatred to win a majority. Even to the extent of excluding the LGBT community from the countries human rights statement as their lives go against the theory of the religion of Islam and against Muslim family values.

Take a moment to remember the Stonewall riots in New York, and other struggles that the LGBT community has had to face in recent times. In a country where, as recently as in 2010, the Malaysian film censorship board announced that it would allow homosexual characters on-screen, but only if the characters repent or die, we realise that they have a long way to go before the equality that we take so easily for granted.

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