Malaysia Announces Funding To Tackle Gays, And 'Sexual Disorders Like LGBT'
By Amrutha Gayathri: Subscribe to Amrutha's RSS feed
April 6, 2012 5:03 AM EDT
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced funding
for counselors to tackle people facing "sexuality problems" and "sexual
orientation disorders like LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender),"
regional media reports said.
Yassin, speaking at the launch of 'National Counseling, Education and Career
Carnival and Improving Professional Counseling' seminar at a Malaysian
University, said the government funding "includes counseling skills for those
faced with sexuality problems which threatens the integrity of the family
institution," Malaysia's Sun Daily reported.
"The symptoms of sexual orientation disorder like LGBT, which was previously
faced by the Western society, are now faced in our society also. I believe that
through an effective counseling approach, we will be able to curb this negative
phenomenon from spreading in our community."
The government has allocated RM 100,000 (about $32,600) and a promise of more
funding in future to the Malaysian International Counseling Association for
training counselors to "cure" people belonging to the LGBT community.
The LGBT community has always been targeted by harsh Malaysian laws, which
criminalize sodomy, with the government holding the right to deport visiting
foreign Cabinet ministers or diplomats, if they are gay.
In 2010, the Malaysian Film Censorship Board announced it would only allow
depiction of homosexual characters as long as the characters repent or die.
Malaysia sent 66 adolescent boys, thought to be gay, to a camp to teach them
"masculine behavior," last year.
The state education director, Razali Daud, had reportedly said that the camp was
designed "to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point
of no return. Such effeminate behavior is unnatural and will affect their
studies and their future."
"We can't force the boys to change, but we want them to know what their choices
are in life. Some effeminate boys end up as a transvestite or a homosexual, but
we want to do our best to limit this," Daud said.
Earlier this year, gay rights activists had launched a legal battle against the
government in an effort to overturn a ban imposed last year on a "sexual
independence" festival, which has been held annually in Malaysia since 2008.
The event showcases musical performances and talks about sexuality and related
The authorities prevented the event from taking place after Muslim
organizations, along with some of the country's politicians, called it
"inappropriate" and risked disrupting public peace.
Malaysian court upheld the ban on the festival with the Judge Rohana Yusuf
concluding the judicial review like this: "The police are empowered under
Section 27 of the Police Act to stop an event for investigation purposes." She
added, "The country will come to a standstill if everyone wants to call for a
review of actions taken by the police." The judge found the application for
judicial review to be "very academic and speculative in nature" since "the event
has ended and there is no guarantee that police will ban the festival again in
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