Rights groups anger over Malaysia identifying gay men by their T-shirts

Featured South East Asia - November 21st, 2012
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The Malaysian government released a list identifying gay and lesbian traits in bid “to prevent its [homosexuality’s] spread”, sparking anger from rights groups.

Pang Khee Teik, co-founder of Seksualiti Merdeka, a sexuality rights movement, criticized the Education Ministry for being “only interested in teaching hate, promoting inequality and playing politics”. The government had released a list of traits parents should “look out for” including boys wearing V-neck T-shirts.

Official news agency Bernama quoted Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi as saying during the Parents Handling LGBT Issues seminar that not many people, particularly parents, understood or knew the early “symptoms” of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender inclinations.

His remarks, which would sound like something from decades ago had they come from a more civil government, added that the ministry “took a serious view” of the issue which could, as he put it, “lead to bigger problems if not contained”.