Members Of LGBT Community Cannot Join Malaysian Police Force Even If Qualified, Says DIGP

"They have to adhere to the practices accepted in this country."

Cover image via Choo Choy May/The Malay Mail

The world is changing, albeit slowly.

There are progressive policies being implemented in the West to ensure that members of LGBT community are not discriminated against. Even a country like India, where discrimination against all kinds of minorities is a norm, is trying to be inclusive to an extent.

Last year, a 25-year-old K Prithika Yashini became Tamil Nadu and India's first transgender sub-inspector of the police after a landmark Madras High Court judgment directed the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board to include members from the transgender community under a "third category".

K. Prithika Yashini fought a long legal battle to become the first trans-woman sub-inspector in India.

Image via R. Ragu/The Hindu

However, the same can't be said about Malaysia

Malaysia's religious laws prohibit same-sex relationships, cross-dressing, and sexual diversity. Here the LGBT community lives in fear. The over-zealous religious authorities make them hide in shadows, forced to live a double life.

So when Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIGP) Noor Rashid Ibrahim was asked if the Malaysian police force would start accepting applications from openly gay or transgender people...

...the DIGP promptly said that those who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) will NOT be admitted into the Malaysian police force EVEN if they qualify because such sexualities are not accepted in Malaysia, reported The Malay Mail.

The Deputy IGP added, in defence, that the "LGBT culture" cannot be accepted in Malaysia due to community and cultural sentiments

"Till today, the LGBT culture is not accepted in this country, so based on that principle, we still maintain the current quota for men and women. If they have the qualification, they have to adhere to the practices accepted in this country. I am not the one who dictates this culture, but it is the acceptance of our community...we just follow our ways here," Noor Rashid was quoted as saying by The Malay Mail during a press conference at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak on 23 April 2016.

Recently, transgender rights activist Nisha Ayub was awarded by the US government for her grit and standing up against the discrimination and marginalisation of LGBT people in Malaysia:

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