LGBT community will never have equal rights in Malaysia, tourism minister says

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says LGBT people in Malaysia will never be able to lead the life they want as it is not allowed in Islam. ― File pic
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says LGBT people in Malaysia will never be able to lead the life they want as it is not allowed in Islam. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 ― The Federal Constitution accords equal protection to all citizens under the law but Malaysia’s lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) will never be able to lead the life they want, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has said.

The former de facto law minister claimed that this was because the “lifestyles” the LGBT community ostensibly leads goes against the teachings of Islam, adding that Islamic principles supersedes the the rights protected even by the country’s highest law.

“LGBT people, I am sorry but even though you argue that it your human right to lead your [life] but it will not be allowed here because it is not allowed in Islam,” Nazri told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview.

“The Federal Constitution expressly mentions Islam as the religion of the federation, so there is no way for the LGBT to be given equal rights even though they may argue that human rights should be the rights of everyone,” the tourism and culture minister explained.

Malaysia’s LBGT community has been hopeful that change may come one day, inspired by the US Supreme Court decision in June this year to allow gay couples to get married across the country.

But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that Islam and its followers are still being tested by the threat of liberalism, and that advocates of liberal ideas have been posing “tough” challenges to Muslims here.

“This threat will ruin the Muslim identity because the liberal ones will take the easy route in matters of religious principles, and from there, groups such as liberal Muslims, LGBT, human rightism and many more will be born,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Malaysia Wasatiyyah Institute in his official residence in Seri Perdana back in May.

In June, Najib also said that gay parades and events of such nature are unsuitable for moderate Muslim Malaysia, and that Islam in the country was incompatible with extremes, be they conservative or liberal.

“Islam is a religion that promotes peace. Islam does not promote violence and teaches us moderation. It is not extreme nor it is too open.

“There is no need for events like a gay parade because it is too open,” Najib had said then.

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