Parenting “Guide” Deepens Hostility toward the LGBT Community in Malaysia
Freedom House remains deeply concerned by the Malaysian government’s policies that foster a climate of intolerance, which stigmatizes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Such actions are deeply irresponsible and contribute to ongoing violence and systemic discrimination against this already marginalized community.
On Monday, September 10, the Education Ministry endorsed an official document that identifies “Symptoms,” which purportedly indicate whether an adolescent is gay.
These 'symptoms include:
For gay men:
- Muscular body and a fondness for showing off the body by wearing clothing, such as by wearing V-necks and sleeveless tops
- A preference for tight and bright coloured clothes
- An inclination to be attracted to men
- A tendency to carry big handbags, similar to the kinds used by women
- Showing attraction to women
- Distancing themselves from women other than their girlfriends
- A preference for hanging out, sleeping and dining with women
- Absence of feelings for men
This guide is being disseminated in an effort for parents and teachers to be able to “redirect” their child’s sexuality. It was unveiled at a parenting seminar in Penang, which was presided over by Malaysia’s Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi, a member of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s political party. Such a policy is fundamentally inconsistent with international human rights standards.
Freedom House urges the Malaysian government to refrain from endorsing policies that promote intolerance and bigotry and recommends that it focus its efforts on developing programs that will educate the public about the human rights of all citizens.