GEORGE TOWN: An officer from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has warned parents against sending their children to boarding schools, saying they have become grounds for young children to pick up homosexual tendencies.
Mohd Izwan Md Yusof also told a seminar organised by Jakim on the topic of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community here that the government should do away with such schools for the young. He said boarding schools were more suitable for those above the age of 16.
“Young children might not be aware of inappropriate bodily contact. So, in my opinion, I think we should have boarding schools for those in Form 4 onwards as they would be more aware,” he said.
Izwan also said the number of gay men in Malaysia had more than doubled in the last five years.
He said there were now 310,000 gays compared to 173,000 in 2013.
He added that there were 30,000 transgenders today compared to 10,000 in 1988, most of whom he said were sex workers.
Izwan said the easy access to online pornography, lack of monitoring by parents and name-calling of effeminate persons contributed to the increase of the LGBT population.
He said among the Malays, men who belonged to the LGBT group were often called “sotong” (squid), which could result in them coming out more openly about their orientation.
“Stop calling them sotong. Take them in, talk to them, pray for them. As Muslims, we should hate the sin but not the sinners,” he said.
He also said his department was helping those who “strayed” to return to the Islamic faith.
“We always advocate that prevention is better than cure, so through many programmes in Jakim, we are doing just that,” he said.
Izwan added that 1,450 people from the LGBT community had been “cured” through rehabilitation programmes.
Another speaker, Dr Janizah Abdul Ghani of the Penang Health Department, said homosexual sex between men had contributed to a spike in sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including HIV.
She said based on her own study, nearly 80% of gay patients who seek treatments for STD in hospitals used dating apps catering to homosexuals.