Subang DAP youth wing secretary quits after ‘gay iftar’ backlash

A breaking-of-fast event was held on June 10 organised by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy group Pelangi Campaign. — AFP pic
A breaking-of-fast event was held on June 10 organised by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy group Pelangi Campaign. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 ― Subang DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) publicity secretary Numan Afifi has resigned from his party position after Muslim groups condemned a “buka puasa” function he had organised under a gay rights group.

Numan, who remains a DAP member, stressed that he left of his own accord last June 15, shortly after the breaking-of-fast event on June 10 organised by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy group Pelangi Campaign, of which he is founding president.

“I think for the cause I'm doing, I don’t want it to be affected by politics. So I think it's best for the activism I'm doing to not be influenced by politics,” Numan told Malay Mail Online.

He maintained that the party did not sanction him over the event that a fundamentalist website and local Malay paper had respectively labelled as “iftar gay terbesar” and “big gay iftar”.

When asked if DAP had directed Numan to quit over the controversial function, DAPSY chief Wong Kah Woh told Malay Mail Online: “He resigned on his own initiative”.

DAPSY national vice publicity secretary Rajiv Rishyakaran similarly insisted that Numan “resigned on his own free will”.

Numan also resigned last month from his job at Sekolah Demokrasi, an organisation under the DAP that educates youths about democracy and politics, where he was employed to help organise programmes and to maintain its website.

“Yes Numan has resigned from Sekolah Demokrasi,” Sekolah Demokrasi coordinator Edry Faizal Yusof told Malay Mail Online. “We never asked him to resign over the controversy.”

Numan posted on Facebook last month that the “buka puasa” function was meant to unite Malaysians and to remember the 49 people killed during a US mass shooting last year at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Last May before the “buka puasa” function, Wong claimed that the DAP believed in freedom of speech, when PAS Youth questioned if the DAP supported the LGBT movement due to Numan’s involvement in an LGBT awareness campaign at a private university that has since been cancelled.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.

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