PETALING JAYA: The US embassy in Malaysia today voiced support for two lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists whose portraits were removed from a state-sponsored photography exhibition in Penang earlier this week.
On its Instagram account, the embassy posted the picture of Nisha Ayub holding the Jalur Gemilang which was taken down from the “Stripes and Strokes” exhibition, saying, “Pictures are worth a thousand words, but actions speak even louder.
“We stand proudly with 2016 International Women of Courage Award winner #NishaAyub and @pangkheeteik PangKheeTeik and the work they do to promote #tolerance and #acceptance.”
The portraits of Nisha and fellow activist Pang Khee Teik were initially part of the exhibition showcasing the work of photographer Mooreyameen Mohamad.
However, they were taken down following complaints from the Prime Minister’s Department and the public.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa said he ordered the photos to be removed as they were against government policy.
He said the pictures could be construed as a “promotion of LGBT culture”.
The incident sparked a backlash, including from activist Marina Mahathir and lawyer Siti Kasim, who told the organisers to remove their pictures from the exhibition as well.