MP calls caning of lesbians ‘shocking, outrageous’

PETALING JAYA: Klang MP Charles Santiago today called the caning of two women for attempting to engage in a sexual act in a car in Terengganu, while 100 witnesses watched them, as “shocking”.

“One would think that such a sentence would only be meted out in Saudi Arabia,” the DAP lawmaker said in a statement.

He said the punishment was a form of torture and outrageous as it was meted out to humiliate them and their families.

It was also against the spirit of Malaysia which wants to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture this year, he said.

He said criminalising consensual sex between the two adults was a violation of international human rights law and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which Malaysia has ratified.

“It’s most worrying that we are witnessing a rise in anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) sentiments over the last few months,” he said.

Santiago pointed out that one transgender woman was beaten up by eight men last month and suffered broken bones.

There were many other similar cases in the last one year.

“We need to stop targeting the LGBT community. We need to stop invading their privacy. We need to stop abusing them.

“We need to grow up as a society and learn to embrace diversity,” he said.

He urged the new Pakatan Harapan government, which was voted in on the premise of inclusion, to repeal all laws that criminalised homosexuality without delay.