Keep lifestyle private, Wan Azizah tells LGBT folk

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says the LGBT community ought to keep their business behind closed doors and not try to 'glamourise' their lifestyle. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 20, 2018.

THE lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have been told to keep their lifestyle private in Islamic Malaysia, the Malay Mail reported. 

The daily quoted Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as saying that the fringe groups could coexist in Malaysia if they kept their practices “behind closed doors” and did not try to “glamourise” their private lives. 

She reminded them that the official religion in the country was Islam, which did not permit such a lifestyle. 

“LGBT (people) have the right to practise whatever they do in private. 

“Islam is the official religion (of Malaysia), whereby you have certain practices and it is there in black and white.

“As a Muslim, I have my preferences. As to their rights, it is the same (rights) as the people who do not believe in Islam,” she was quoted as saying. 

In Islam, LGBT activities are haram (forbidden) and deemed personal sins. 

If committed and promoted openly, causing disturbance to others, Muslims are allowed to object openly as well. 

Dr Wan Azizah also said homosexuality was still a crime in Malaysia. 

Under civil law, homosexuality is an offence under Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. 

The LGBT issue recently made headlines after portraits of activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik were removed from a photography exhibition at the George Town Festival earlier this month, following the directive of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa. 

Last month, LGBT rights became a topic for debate after activist Numan Afifi resigned from Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s press team following personal attacks. 

On both occassions, Mujahid, who is in charge of Islamic affairs, had said LGBT folk should not be discriminated against at the workplace, regardless of their sexual orientation. – August 20, 2018.

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