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Essay on Discrimination Against the LGBT Community in Malaysia

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In Malaysia , discrimination against members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community reached new levels of intensity ; sodomy remained a crime. In fact, the Government maintained its refusal to consider repeal of article 377A-B of the penal code, which criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”and punishes it with the penalty of imprisonment for a term extendable to twenty years. Throughout 2013 a government-backed musical aiming to warn young people about the perils of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender sparked wide controversy over its potential to incite hatred . In January 2013, a workshop on LGBTtook place at the Politeknik Seberang Prai and included the participation of 200 representatives comprising parents and teachers from 176 schools in the Seberang Prai Utara and Seberang Prai Tengah districts. At this occasion, Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, stated that LGBT was akin to a social sickness that could be prevented and cured . During a previous seminar in September 2012, he endorsed a parenting guide describing symptoms of homosexuality . The same year, Prime Minister NajibRazak called the LGBT community an example of “deviant culture” threatening Malaysia .

Long-term detention without a trial remained an issue. The Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Act (SOSMA) did replace the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA) on 31 July 2012 and reduced detention without charge from 60 (extendable to two years) to no more than 28 days, while requiring a suspect to be charged in court or released thereafter . Despite the positive advancement – according to the Bill, detention is applicable only for the purpose of active police investigations, and imm...


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...s”, Press Release, (2 May 2013) at: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3728/en/; Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), “Malaysian sites report disruption of access near elections”, (3 May 2013) at:http://cpj.org/2013/05/news-sites-report-disruption-of-access-in-runup-to.php; “Malaysia denies entry to critical journalist”, (5 July 2013) at: http://cpj.org/2013/07/malaysia-denies-entry-to-critical-journalist.php; Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Violence, cyber-attacks threaten elections”, (1 May 2013) at: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/01/malaysia-violence-cyber-attacks-threaten-elections.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), “World Report 2013 Malaysia” at: http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/malaysia;Human rights Watch (HRW), “Malaysia: Backsliding on rights”, (1 February 2013) at: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/01/malaysia-backsliding-rights



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