The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has denied assertions by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that it is pushing Putrajaya to allow same-sex marriages.
Rather, commission chairperson Razali Ismail says Suhakam only wants the government to ratify international human rights treaties to give fair treatment and protect the basic rights of all Malaysians, including the LGBT community.
"Suhakam does not support same-sex marriages in Malaysia... Suhakam is unaware of any international human rights treaty that if ratified, would oblige the government to legalise same-sex marriage," he said in a statement today.
After a Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting yesterday, Mahathir agreed to empower the commission but "reminded" Suhakam that the government cannot accept same-sex marriages.
This is as Malaysia's value systems are not like those of western countries, the premier said.
Razali said while Suhakam believes in universal human rights, it does take into account the context of Malaysia's values.
"However, Suhakam is steadfast in its position that no one has the right to discriminate against LGBTs or treat them with hate or violence.
"The government cannot allow a situation where personal religious beliefs coupled with government inaction and political homophobia become a license for violence against LGBTs," his statement read.
The commission chair also insisted that the government must introduce an anti-discrimination law to protect all Malaysians.
"Suhakam reiterates that all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity
have the same basic rights as enshrined in our Federal Constitution."