KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Gay rights advocacy group Jejaka today slammed two Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs who suggested that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community should be considered as suffering from mental disorders.

In a statement, the group said that the proposal by the two MPs from the Islamist party PAS not only went against the medical consensus widely accepted globally, but also perpetuated harmful stereotypes and discrimination against the safety and well-being of those in the minority community.

"This unfounded assertion in Dewan Rakyat is a disservice to the LGBT+ community and those genuinely struggling with mental health issues.

"Being LGBT+ is not an illness but a part of human diversity. It is high time our lawmakers recognise and respect this fact," Jejaka deputy president Dhia Rezki Rohaizad said.

The group added that global health and psychiatric institutions including the American Psychiatric Association had removed homosexuality from a list of mental disorders in 1973.

It also added that Malaysia's Mental Health Act 2001 lacks the authority to classify any condition as a mental disorder as it is a legal document that outlines the provision of mental healthcare services and the infrastructure and protects the rights of psychiatric patients and healthcare workers.

The group also expressed support for Miri MP Chiew Choon Man, who firmly rejected the "groundless" assertions made by PAS Jamaluddin Yahya and Dr Halimah Ali, and called upon all MPs to take a considerate and informed approach when discussing mental health.

"This includes refraining from stigmatising statements perpetuating misunderstanding and discrimination against the LGBT+ community or any other group," it said.

Separately, Jejaka also had on Twitter lauded Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) deputy president Amira Aisya Abd Aziz for questioning the Home Ministry's raid on Swatch stores over its rainbow-themed watches.

The group thanked Amira for her dedication to "equality, tolerance, and freedom of expression". "We hope you continue using your platform to champion human rights and fundamental freedoms," it added.

Amira posted on Twitter yesterday her concerns over the "ambiguity" of what is considered "harmful".

"Are we going to start raiding all shops that sell anything with rainbow/pride painted on it? Including the small business. We're sending a message that it's not safe for brands and companies to operate in Malaysia," she said.

According to the Puteri Wangsa assemblyman, the seizure of 22 watches was made under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

"It is an archaic law that has been used and abused for so many years," she said in a separate Twitter thread, adding that the "dangerous" law has to be repealed.

"If it is the government's position that all pride products are to be banned in Malaysia, table it in the Dewan Rakyat and debate it accordingly.

This comes after reports on Monday that Malaysian authorities have raided the Malaysian stores of Swiss watchmaker Swatch and confiscated items from its "Pride Collection” bearing the rainbow flag associated with the LGBT rights movement.