PETALING JAYA: A think tank has slammed MPs from both sides of the political divide over their “spate of statements and hate speech” against the LGBTQ community during the last Dewan Rakyat meeting.
The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy (Galen) described the various “disparaging, discriminatory and bigoted” comments made during a debate on the Suhakam 2020 report as “harmful”.
“Such anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has real world consequences on people and communities. They may cause an escalation of harmful and discriminating actions and promote violence,” Galen CEO Azrul Khalib said in a statement.
He also said these communities, which include persons of different gender diversity and sexual orientation, often encounter sexual harassment, discrimination, and face threats of physical and emotional violence.
“In some extreme documented assault cases over several years in Klang, Seremban, and Kuantan, several transgender women have been seriously injured or lost their lives,” he said, adding that the perpetrators often escape unpunished.
Mitch Yusmar Yusof, a senior fellow at Galen and Seed Foundation executive director, said such sentiments and threats create obstacles and barriers for those needing health services.
“Fear and discrimination discourages them from seeking treatment and care. They may have trouble finding alternative healthcare services if they are turned away. Where is our compassion?” he said.
On Monday, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (PN-Machang) told the Dewan Rakyat that the government should consider emulating Russia’s law to protect the nation’s children from LGBTQ-related content on both social and mainstream media.
He said, with such laws in place, the government would not have to be fearful or apologetic in taking stern action to preserve local family traditions and religion in the context of Malaysia’s human rights.
Citing Article 8 of the Federal Constitution on equality, Azrul said proposing any legislation which may deprive a person of protection under the law based on their sexual orientation is “heinous”.
Meanwhile, Awang Hashim (PN- Pendang) likened sexual orientation and gender identity to an “addiction” and proposed adopting a rehabilitation approach for the LGBTQ community to guide them back onto the “right path”.
Isam Isa (BN-Tampin) also urged Suhakam to form its own human rights narrative in line with Malaysia’s values and norms, instead of “blindly” following the United Nations’ purported narrative on the LGBTQ issue.
On Wednesday, education minister Fadhlina Sidek said her ministry is firm in its stance to not compromise “on matters of etiquette, morals and deviant culture” when asked by Ahmad Yahaya (PN-Pokok Sena) about the LGBTQ “culture” penetrating schools.