KOTA KINABALU: A former Sabah minister says being inclusive should not mean that all traditional and religious values are thrown out the window, in the wake of a debate on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the country.
Former community development and consumer affairs minister Jainab Ahmad Ayid said she was concerned after activist Marina Mahathir’s comments on the matter, as the LGBT lifestyle was contrary to the teachings of Islam.
At a recent event, Marina had said there was nothing wrong with championing the basic rights of the LGBT community, adding that there was a need for more public policies and education so that there would be a better understanding of the group.
“You don’t have to approve of their lifestyle. There is no compulsion for this, but you cannot deny the fact that they are humans entitled to the same dignity stipulated in every religion, Islam included. They are human beings,” Marina said.
However, Jainab said Marina’s demands were “improper” and should not be entertained by any party, “particularly the federal government led by Marina’s father Dr Mahathir Mohamad”.
She also questioned the “equal rights” Marina was calling for, saying those from the LGBT community had always been allowed to enjoy the same public services and amenities as everyone else.
The Sabah Wanita Umno chief told FMT Marina should explain what discrimination the LGBT community was said to have suffered.
“Although their claim is not in the constitution and only in the name of human rights, it still violates shariah law. A Muslim who supports this group is wrong in Islam. Recognising the LGBT is the same as insulting Islam.”
She said even other religions such as Christianity and Buddhism did not tolerate the LGBT lifestyle.
“Instead of fighting for LGBT rights, it is better for Marina to help rehabilitate these people, especially the Malays,” she added.
She also said the LGBT lifestyle would contribute to social problems such as HIV and AIDS.
Adding that Sabah Umno was committed to championing the Bumiputeras in the state, she said it would oppose any movement that could lead to the destruction of Sabah’s culture or social system.