KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — The government’s Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) has established a special committee to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Muslims in Malaysia, said minister Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar.

The religious affairs minister said the committee comprises representatives from ministries, departments, agencies and non-governmental organisations — but no LGBT groups — who will coordinate matters such as education, advocacy, evangelism and enforcement.

“The committee had recently met on April 11, 2023,” he said in a Parliamentary written reply dated yesterday.

“Based on reports and observations, throughout the period from January 2021 until April 2023, there were several programmes and enforcement actions that have been implemented by inter-agencies regarding LGBT issues, they cover aspects of education, prevention and advocacy.

The minister insisted that “LGBT practices” are against religion, morality and culture in Malaysia. Despite his assertion, not all religious groups in the country oppose or demonise the LGBT.

“Not only that, but homosexual acts are against the law of the country. Not only Shariah law, but also civil law,” he added.

Section 377A of the Penal Code criminalises anal and oral sex for everyone, including heterosexuals.

“Despite this, the government still does not discriminate against any group, including LGBT, to enjoy their basic rights as stated in the Federal Constitution such as the right to education, the right to practice religion, and the right to work in accordance with Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution,” the minister said.

He was responding to Pokok Sena MP Datuk Ahmad Saad from the Islamist party PAS, who asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim about the steps taken to prevent the normalisation of “LGBT lifestyle” in the country.

Earlier today, two Perikatan Nasional MPs from PAS said the LGBT community should be considered as suffering from mental health illnesses.

Just yesterday, it was reported that the Malaysian authorities had raided the Malaysian stores of Swiss watchmaker Swatch and confiscated items from its “Pride Collection” bearing the rainbow flag associated with the LGBT movement.

Similar controversy emerged over the news of British band Coldplay’s scheduled concert in Malaysia, which parties in PN want to be cancelled due to the group’s support for the LGBT movement.