After ministry, firm organises pro-LGBT video contest

The Health Ministry is soliciting videos on the ills of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities as well as how to ‘prevent’ and ‘control’ such inclinations. — Reuters pic
The Health Ministry is soliciting videos on the ills of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities as well as how to ‘prevent’ and ‘control’ such inclinations. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Indie moviemaker Grim Film has announced a contest for videos in support of non-heterosexual communities to mitigate another competition by the Health Ministry for videos against the same groups.

The effort is a joint collaboration between Grim Film, headed by Jared Lee, and medical doctor-turned-comedian Dr Jason Leong.

“Our competition is not that sophisticated, but just basically to show that there are still people who support the rights of the LGBT community.

“It would be nice if some videos support them because once the Ministry of Health’s competition is up, there will be a lot of videos that may hurt or harm the LGBT community,” Dr Leong told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

The contest is also offering a US$1,001 (RM4,272) prize, which the organisers point out with the hashtag #ThisPaysMoreThanTheOtherCompetition, in apparent reference to the MoH’s contest.

The ministry is soliciting videos on the ills of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities as well as how to “prevent” and “control” such inclinations.

It was criticised for this, but defended the competition by saying its goal was to empower teens to make “wise decisions” and not to discriminate against the LGBT community.

“In medical terms, there has been no evidence to suggest that homosexuality is a choice, and that people choose to be homosexuals or whatever. In fact, i think there has been a study that said there could be a possible link to certain genes, that is expressed in homosexuals that is linked to homosexuality.

“Meaning, you are destined to be homosexual based on your genes. Just like race, a person can’t choose their sexuality,” Dr Leong added.

Lee concurred, adding that the intention of Grim Film’s video competition is not aimed at challenging any religious groups, but to accord respect to the LGBT community.

He told Malay Mail Online he was already coming across objections to the contest.

“Threats via Facebook message. I don’t know religious or not, but we were threatened because we are a film company, so they just said make sure we don’t get our Finas licence (revoked) and that we won’t be able to produce movies, and things like that,” he said.

He said he was undeterred, however.

“I mean just like the other competition which clearly states that they are there to cultivate creativity and not to discriminate, so I guess we can say the same right?” he added.

Details of the competition can be found on the company’s official Facebook page.

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