Zaid: Why are ‘reformists’ so afraid to defend, uphold human rights?

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Zaid said there is no excuse to discriminate against LGBT since humanity still understands so little about sexual orientation and gender expression. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Zaid said there is no excuse to discriminate against LGBT since humanity still understands so little about sexual orientation and gender expression. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
UALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has lambasted Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders for shying away from defending and upholding human rights for every strata of the society, including the marginalised lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenders (LGBT).

The DAP member insisted that the LGBT community must be protected no matter how small a minority they are, and there is no excuse to discriminate against them since humanity still understands so little about sexual orientation and gender expression.

“Now even Pakatan Harapan leaders shy away from defending the basic human rights of LGBTs. In fact, some are actively ridiculing them,” he wrote in a commentary piece published in Malaysiakini.

“Why are these ‘reformists’ and people who fought to change the system so afraid to defend and uphold human rights as an important universal principle for everyone?”

Zaid suggested that this lack of gumption came, among others, from ignorance of science and lack of worldly knowledge.

“Perhaps it’s also the fear that they might lose votes at the next election. PAS’ morality is now the barometer,” he said, referring to the Islamist party.

He said Malaysians should have a better understanding of LGBT, and the fact that it is not an anomaly — it exists everywhere in human culture and within the animal kingdom, and therefore punishment and humiliation against LGBT will not change their basic nature.

“I always thought PH promised a shelter for everyone and a country to be shared by all.

It’s an easy promise to fulfill. If they can't do this, I hope someone can vacate a parliamentary seat for me.

“I, too, want to be prime minister so I can make this country a home for everyone, and I mean everyone,” he said, in an apparent dig at the forced Port Dickson by-election by PKR to make Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim an MP, and subsequently prime minister.

In the past few days, Anwar has repeatedly warned against the so-called “super liberals”, and reiterated his stand opposing LGBT and same-sex marriage despite himself being convicted twice for sodomy.

Anwar’s remarks came after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Putrajaya will not accept calls for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.

Homosexuality is not illegal per se in Malaysia, but anal and oral sex are punishable under Section 377A of the Penal Code. Shariah laws also penalise transgenderism, and in some cases homosexual relations.

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