PAS Youth asks if DAP supports LGBT over involvement in axed pride march

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Taylor’s University had explained that it cancelled LGBT awareness event at its campus because the organisers did not obtain its approval. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 ― PAS Youth asked today whether its former ally DAP supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement, pointing to one of its members’ involvement in a now-cancelled public awareness campaign.

The Islamist party wing also urged Muslims to question whether Opposition pact Pakatan Harapan can ensure the “strength and sanctity” of Islam.

“PAS Youth questions if DAP too approve of the LGBT considering the involvement of Subang DAP Socialist Youth’s organising secretary in Pelangi Campaign? Read more

2 Malaysians among those arrested at ‘gay sex party’ in Jakarta

Source: FMT News

Indonesian police say 10 of the 141 men could be charged under they country’s tough anti-pornography laws. Pic from FMT News.

JAKARTA: Indonesian police have detained 141 men, including two Malaysians, for allegedly taking part in a gay sex party at a sauna, an official said on Monday, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.

Officers late Sunday raided a building in Jakarta that houses a sauna and a gym, and halted what they said was a sex party promoted as “The Wild One”.

Pictures circulating online showed topless men sitting crammed in a room next to gym equipment after the raid.

Besides the two Malaysians, police said two other foreigners had been arrested – one Briton and a Singaporean.

“Our officers did an undercover investigation and raided the place on Sunday,” senior detective Nasriadi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.

Homosexuality and gay sex are legal everywhere in Indonesia except in conservative Aceh province, but Nasriadi said that 10 of those arrested in the Jakarta raid could be charged under the country’s tough anti-pornography laws. Read more

Pro-LGBT NGO regrets cancellation of varsity’s Pride Week

Source: FMT News

Pelangi Campaign chides Taylor’s University for not standing firm for the autonomy of its students and staff, and bowing to ‘business interests’. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Pelangi Campaign, one of the organisers of Taylor’s Pride Week, says it is disappointed that Taylor’s University placed “business interests above safeguarding academic freedom and integrity”.

In a strongly-worded statement in response to the cancellation of the event celebrating the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, the NGO said it regretted the decision on the part of the management of Taylor’s University.

“The programme, themed ‘Courage in the Face of Adversity’, was organised by a group of Taylor’s University students who empathise with the social injustice faced by the LGBT community.

“They took the noble initiative of organising the event in order to raise awareness in society and engage the communities around them,” Pelangi said, chiding the university for not standing firm for the autonomy of its students and staff. Read more

LGBT pride march in Taylor’s University cancelled after Islamist pressure

Source: The Malay Mail Online

AThere has been no public statement so far from the student organisers, who called themselves ‘Pride Not Prejudice’, besides the deletion of the event’s Facebook page. Pic from AFP by Dibyangshu SARKAR.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — A three-day lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) public awareness campaign that included a pride march that was scheduled for next month in Taylor’s University was cancelled last night.

The event, called “Courage in the Face of Adversity” and organised by its students, was cancelled following protests since Tuesday by pro-Islamists blogs that were incensed it would be held during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“The Pride event in Taylor’s University has been cancelled and will not happen. Please be informed,” the Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative, or Pelangi, said in a brief Facebook status last night. Read more

She strives to help marginalised communities in Malaysia

Source: Star2

Through Justice for Sisters, Thilaga Sulathireh hope to raise public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution of the Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Through Justice for Sisters, Thilaga Sulathireh hope to raise public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution of the Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Thilaga Sulathireh is brimming with hope. The 30-year-old activist believes there is more support now for the LGBT community, a most vulnerable group in society.

“We see a lot of cis-gender, hetrosexual people speaking out against the discrimination the LGBTQ community faces and that’s really a positive step in our activism. There are limitations in Malaysia when it comes to talking about gender identity. Yet, people want to talk about it now. This is really encouraging and something we cherish.

“Take the recent murder of Sameera (in Kuantan recently) as an example … there was a huge public outcry not just within the trans community but from the general public,” says the co-founder of Justice for Sisters, a group formed to raise awareness on violence and persecution against the transgender community in Malaysia.

Thilaga’s activism began when she began volunteering with the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) as a teenager. Read more

Dignity for Meera — Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

Tragic end: Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Tragic end: Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan. Pic taken from The Star Online.

FEBRUARY 27 —This past week, we have been sickened by the case of Sameera Krishnan. A worker at a florist, she was attacked by masked individuals who repeatedly shot and slashed her with an edged weapon resulting in severe wounds to her head, arms and legs. She did not survive the attack. Her body was found in the wee hours of the morning.

The reasons behind such brutality and her murder can only be speculated at this point. The degree of cruelty and savagery needed to inflict such harm on another human being is often unable to be understood or seen unless you work in criminology or law enforcement.

But for many who work who work in the area of human rights, particularly dealing with sexuality, acts of abuse and violence can be an altogether familiar story.

While this incident has been considered by police to not be a hate crime, I want to take this opportunity to once again to highlight the incidences of harassment, discrimination and abuse experienced by the transgender community.

The Federal Constitution guarantees the protection of minorities against the tyranny of the majority. It provides for all Malaysians the same fundamental rights and protections. That all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection. A person shouldn’t and cannot be singled out or criminalised for simply being who and what they are.

I hope that there will be justice for Meera and that the authorities will do all that they can to find, capture and bring the perpetrators to court. But it can be a daunting task for members of this community to look for justice when they themselves are often victims of persecution. Read more

Let God deal with LGBT, Jakim told

Source: FMT News

Siti Kasim - Pic from FMT News

Siti Kasim – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights activist Siti Kasim has criticised Jakim for suggesting a person’s sexual orientation can be changed with extensive religious training. She said it was trying to play God.

“I don’t understand these people,” she told FMT. “They should keep their religious or moral beliefs to themselves and just shut up. If people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are wrong, then let God punish them.”

Jakim recently released a three-minute video comparing sexual orientation with horse riding, saying that when a person realises he has a “different” sexual orientation and wishes to make a change, he should be given extensive training and guidance.

Siti said such an assumption was not backed by scientific evidence and therefore nonsensical. Read more

Sexual orientation can be changed, Jakim says in new LGBT video

Source: Malay Mail Online

Jakim said to change one’s sexual orientation, one must intend to do so for God’s sake instead of being forced and repent one's homosexuality, in addition to leaving activities that would lead to same-sex relations. — AFP pic

Jakim said to change one’s sexual orientation, one must intend to do so for God’s sake instead of being forced and repent one’s homosexuality, in addition to leaving activities that would lead to same-sex relations. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The federal Islamic authorities have suggested that sexual orientation can be changed with extensive training, in a recent video explaining how Muslims can approach the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The 3:08-minute video in Malay language has since received mixed reception from some Malaysians, with several praising it as a softer strategy that does not promote hate against the maligned minority, while others felt it still fails to acknowledge the community.

“Fact is, there are those among Muslims that has non-heterosexual orientation but remains steadfast on the path of Islam.

“For them, this is a test of Allah, and they choose to face the test appropriate with what Islam demands,” said the video shared by social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi in a public post on his Facebook profile yesterday. Read more

In report, watchdog says human rights in Malaysia on downward trend

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The report cited the extensive use of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) to arrest those who are deemed critical of the government. Pic Reuters.

The report cited the extensive use of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) to arrest those who are deemed critical of the government. Pic Reuters.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The human rights situation in Malaysia showed a “marked deterioration” in 2016 due to increased arrests of government critics and expanded restrictions on public assembly, the Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2017.

The report, which was released tonight, detailed the state of human rights in more than 90 countries.

“The Malaysian government has responded to corruption allegations by throwing respect for rights out the window,” said Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson in a statement.

“By bringing a slew of prosecutions against those expressing dissenting views or peacefully protesting, the government is seriously undermining democratic institutions and the rights of all Malaysian citizens,” he added.

The report cited the extensive use of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) to arrest those who are deemed critical of the government. Read more

Labelled ‘militant’, LGBT community says joined Bersih 5 to uphold democracy

Source: The Malay Mail Online

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has defended some of its members’ decision to join the Bersih 5 rally last month, after a group called Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) labelled them “militant” for the act.

In a statement today, the community said LGBT persons and groups stand in solidarity with diverse groups and all people living in Malaysia calling for good, transparent and accountable governance in our country.

“How else could LGBT persons seek justice and create a better Malaysia if not by speaking up and participating in democracy?” it asked in the statement endorsed by 29 civil societies.

“Centhra, however, is suggesting that LGBT persons cannot be seen, be in solidarity, participate and exercise our constitutional rights. For Centhra, LGBT persons should remain hidden, silent and accept the gross discrimination and violence that we experience.

“The fact that there is consistent resistance to LGBT persons whenever we take a visible stance demonstrates deep levels of homophobia and transphobia that need to be addressed through meaningful engagements with LGBT persons and in accordance to international standards of human rights,” it added.

The community said LGBT persons are being denied fundamental human rights and face discrimination and violence just for being who they are, and the views espoused by Centhra only increase risks and challenges they face.

“We remind Centhra that Malaysia is a member of the United Nations and is obligated to uphold international human rights standards. We also call for meaningful dialogue and engagement with the LGBT community to promote understanding instead of misinformed condemnation, moral posturing and fear mongering,” it said. Read more