KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Heavier punishments to prosecute the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population will only spur more violence and hatred towards the group, The Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) Women said.
In a statement, its women’s division chairman Ng Geok Chee called out Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary for stating the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government were mooting amendments to the the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 to provide for heavier punishments on the LGBT community, claiming it will only encourage people to harass the community.
“KLSCAH Women believes that this law amendment will encourage harassment and violence against LGBT groups, placing them in far more dangerous situations, which goes against the government’s duty to protect citizens from discrimination and violations of human rights.
“Society, in general, believes that LGBTs not only violate the laws of nature or moral standards but even regard it as a mental illness and has been marginalised for a long time.
“As a Cabinet member, Ahmad Marzuk should have a clearer understanding of the situation. Moreover, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently suggested that Asean take a stronger stance against hate speech on gender and sexual orientation at the 1st Asean Digital Ministers Meeting,” Ng said in the statement.
Malaysia has had a poor history of treating the LGBT community with each government not embracing the community.
After Pakatan Harapan won the 2018 general elections, the prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the LGBT lifestyle was a shift in the Westerners’ moral values and they wanted to force that lifestyle on other countries.
The same was of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when ruling the Barisan National government had cited Islam as justification for his government’s exclusion in protecting the human rights LGBT individuals.
Another incident was when former tourism minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapin was quoted saying during an event in Berlin, Germany that homosexuality did not exist in Malaysia after being asked if it was a safe travel destination for the LGBT community.
Most recently Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) summoned its enforcers involved in the recent alleged violence during arrest of cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat early this month.
Sajat said authorities raided her home following a report made on her on February 23, 2018 during her religious event held at her guest house in Seksyen 16, Shah Alam.
She said she was handcuffed and assaulted by the officers from the state religious officers during the investigation process, causing bruises all over her body.
She further claimed that the state religious officers had denied her her rights even when she fully cooperated during the whole process on January 6 this year in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor.
KLSCAH Women said many countries have enacted laws to protect the community but the powers in Malaysia are refusing to progress but rather are focusing their energy on enforcing their values on the people.
“LGBTs are neither against nature nor are they morally corrupt. As members of society, everyone should be given equal treatment and rights,” said Ng.
“For this reason, KLSCAH Women asks Ahmad Mazruk to stop discriminating against LGBTs and government spending. Inciting hatred based on sexual orientation not only violates the core values of openness and tolerance, but also creates many social problems.
“With the ongoing pandemic and floods, we hope Ahmad Marzuk prioritise
matters and deal with the most pressing issues that concern the people first.”