Stop endless gay persecution in Malaysia

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I refer to the reports here , here and here on the continuing persecution of gays in Malaysia.

The current Malaysian government has continued their scapegoat-ing of gay people under Section 377 of the Malaysian Penal Code even after the 1998 and 2008 attempts to smear the political career of Anwar Ibrahim.

Despite the rather obvious political nature of the government's prosecution of its leading proponent of democratic reforms, the prejudice against homosexuals is still severe.

Gay people have no one to speak up for them in Malaysia. Even academic researchers are intimidated by being dependent upon government appointments and funding. Faculties at Malaysian universities are prohibited from 'engaging in political activity.'

Without any public discourse on the subject of equal rights for homosexuals, there is little opportunity for changing the attitudes of the public or the government authorities.

Therefore, since homosexuality is considered an affront to Islam, any news relating to gay and lesbian rights, especially including calls for ending discrimination against homosexuals, is suppressed.

The above kind of police raiding, aided and abetted by a scandal-hungry media, continues. For example, police raided a gay party in Penang and brought along reporters who took pictures of the gay men at this party.

The police claimed there was sex going on at this party though all of the photos that were made as soon as the police burst into the scene showed the men all fully clothed. Participants said that it was a purely a social gathering, and denied there was any sex going on.

Whether there was sexual behavior or not, what is important is that this was a private gathering of consenting adults in a closed private business place.

By defining homosexuality as a 'vice' this 'Operation Clean' demonstrates the extreme discrimination against gay people in Malaysia.

Gay Malaysians living in exile respond that ‘Operation Clean’ should be used to clean up rampant government corruption and that police would be more useful in cleaning up the streets of the city of real criminals rather than persecuting gay people.

The fact that homosexuals are so commonly arrested is itself a sentence of punishment.

A person who is arrested for a crime in Malaysia often has to wait in jail for a long time, sometimes up to eight years, before being brought to trial. Torture of convicted prisoners is justified by the sentence of being flogged with a cane that is often meted out by the courts.

This practice of caning is so severe that prisoners often faint from the pain and are left with permanent scars. In the case of prisoners who are homosexual, the extensive publicity regarding government condemnation of homosexuality has sent the message to the police and others that persecution of homosexuals is acceptable.

Stop persecution now against sexual minorities in Malaysia and restore full equality for all. Every life has equal value. LBGT right is human right.

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