Numan Afifi Says It Is "Impossible" To Work For The Government After Anti-LGBT Backlash
Today, 9 July, Numan Afifi spoke out regarding the controversy surrounding his alleged appointment as a special officer by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman
"In regard to the issue of several names appearing on the ministry's official website, I was informed that there are elements of sabotage, and an investigation is being conducted," he said, adding that, "I was made to understand by the minister that stern action will be taken against the culprit."
According to Malay Mail, critics argued that Syed Saddiq should not hire a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community under the government.
Numan revealed that the backlash he received prevents him from continuing to serve Syed Saddiq, whom he had been assisting while the minister puts together his formal staff
"The threats from opposition propagandists have made it impossible for me to exercise my duties, therefore I have decided not to work at the Ministry in any official capacity," he said.
The former Subang DAP Youth publicity secretary revealed that he will be going abroad to determine his next move.
Numan called his time in service with the Youth and Sports Minister "an honour," and said that Syed Saddiq not only respected his decision, but "stands firm against any form of discrimination"
"I would like to bid my thanks to saudara Syed Saddiq for the opportunity and lessons taught during the entire election campaign and transitional phase in the Ministry," said Numan.
He added that, "I am touched and very much appreciate the continuous support from the public, friends and family."
Syed Saddiq has since responded to Numan's statement on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Klang MP Charles Santiago released a statement saying that the "regressive" treatment towards the LGBT community has no place in our 'Malaysia Baru'
"I do not know Numan Afifi personally. But after a few phone calls, found out he is incredibly smart and talented: two of his aspects that got him hired at the Youth and Sports Ministry," said Santiago, according to Malay Mail.
"The culture of hatred and intolerance in our society today against those who are different, be it on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation is worrying."
"The new Pakatan Harapan government was elected on its promises of reforms and being inclusive," he added, before pledging solidarity with Numan and requesting that the government repeal all laws and regulations that discriminate against the LGBT community.
On Friday, Syed Saddiq addressed rumours that he had already hired Numan as a press officer under his ministry: