Here's What State Muftis And Politicians Are Saying About Malaysian LGBTs
A tale of animal rights, genitals, disabled toilets, and "organic" disorders.
All eyes have been on the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders (LGBT) community in Malaysia lately, especially after the controversial removal of portraits from an exhibition in Penang last week
The recent scrutiny intensified after Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa claimed that the "promotion" of LGBT activities are against Pakatan Harapan's government policy.
On top of that, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh stressed that members of the LGBT community are unwanted as role models for children.
Nonetheless, between calls for respecting and "treating" them, the community has not heard the end of it. Over the last week, more politicians and state muftis weighed in on the activism, bodies, and daily lives of Malaysian LGBTs.
1. "What they (LGBTs) are really fighting for is freedom for animals."
Malaysiakini reported on 10 August that Penang mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor likened the freedom of LGBT individuals to the freedom of animals, before adding that the freedom of man is "limited by religion and customs".
"There is no absolute freedom in this world, even in biology there are limits," Wan Salim added.
However, despite opposing to calls for allowing "unnatural" sex, the mufti reiterated that the LGBT community possess rights as Malaysians.
2. "If it (urine) exits from a male organ, then use the men's toilet."
Yesterday, 13 August, Malay Mail reported Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin as saying to transgenders that they should be "examined" while they urinate to determine which gender's toilet to use.
"I would like to suggest that if any individual is confused, it is recommended (that) he meets an expert to examine him while he urinates to determine the origin of the urine," Asri was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.
The mufti added that transgenders should "go to the hospital" if their urine "does not come out from either male or female genitals".
3. "The best solution is for them (LGBTs) to use the disabled toilets until the society can accept them."
Following her comments on LGBTs being unwanted as role models to children, Fuziah suggested to transgenders yesterday that they should use toilets for the disabled before the government finds a solution for them.
Referring to males who psychologically believe that they are females, Fuziah cited public concern over their choice of public toilets.
"When he (a transgender) is using the female toilet, some would not feel comfortable and may be concerned for their safety," Fuziah was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.
4. "You can see certain physical differences in the brain that causes them (LGBTs) to behave as such."
Deputy Health Minister Dr. Lee Boon Chye said yesterday that members of the LGBT community simply had a brain aberration, an "organic disorder", rather than having mental illnesses.
"If you look at the magnetic resonance imaging scans of the human brain, you can see certain physical differences in the brain that causes them (LGBTs) to behave as such," Dr. Lee was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.
Here's a recap of the controversial removal of LGBT activists' portraits from the George Town Festival exhibition in Penang: