GEORGE TOWN: Members from two Pakatan Harapan parties today supported the removal of portraits of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists from a Merdeka Day exhibit on Tuesday.
Members of Penang Amanah and PPBM said while they had “no issues” with the LGBT community, it was against Malaysian norms to openly promote gay culture.
On Tuesday, portraits of LGBT activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik holding up the Jalur Gemilang were taken down at a photography exhibition titled “Stripes and Strokes”.
Penang Amanah Youth chief Mohd Saifullah Abd Nasir said as a Muslim country, the LGBT culture was against religious teachings.
He said it was right for de facto Islamic affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa to order the portraits to be removed.
Saifullah also reminded Malaysians to follow the Rukun Negara’s tenet to uphold “Good Behaviour and Morality”.
“While we are not against LGBT, we prefer it to be confined to their private lives, not out in the open,” he said at the Esplanade grounds today.
Saifullah hoped the recent incident would serve as a reminder to other organisers to ensure such situations did not arise.
Penang PPBM Youth chief Muhd Shameer Mohd Sulaiman, who was present at the press conference, agreed that removing the pictures was the right thing to do.
Mujahid had confirmed that he ordered the pictures of the LGBT activists to be removed as it was Putrajaya’s policy not to promote the LGBT lifestyle.
Activist Marina Mahathir subsequently told the organisers to remove her portrait as well, saying she was standing in solidarity with the two activists.