Democratic space for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender

Nalina Nair


LETTER | Anyone who calls himself or herself a feminist, claims to be concerned about the welfare and rights of women, or holds a portfolio that involves the welfare of women must uphold the rights of all women.

Democratic space is for every Malaysian, regardless of sexual orientation and gender. Not allowing people who have different views on sexual orientation issues from you to use democratic space is true abuse of democratic space.

Malaysian lesbians, bisexuals, queer and transgender women are all Malaysians nevertheless. Therefore, they have the right to participate in the Women's March held on March 9.

They have the right to demand for a decent life, to be recognised and to be treated equally as other Malaysians. Above all, they have the right to be protected under the law, just like you and me.

I would like to remind my fellow comrades that we were many times denied democratic space by those who opposed us. 

Feminist or not, it is hypocritical to now similarly deny others to be able to march on the streets just because they have different views on sexual orientation. 

I call on all my comrades to uphold the rights of all Malaysians to be able to exercise their fundamental rights, as assured in the Federal Constitution.

Focus on eradicating patriarchy, child marriages and violence against women instead. 

Be vocal against those issues. Instead of making police reports against the LGBTQ community, channel your energy and efforts to protecting women and children who are vulnerable. 

Let's be better than our predecessors!

NALINA NAIR is the state secretary for Selangor Wanita DAP.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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