Malaysia Masculinity Camp for Effeminate Boys is Illegal, Says Minister

A Malaysian minister has slammed local officials sending 66 boys identified by school teachers as effeminate to a four-day masculinity “self-development course” to prevent them being gay or transgender. The women’s minister said the move is not only harmful, but it also illegal and violates child welfare laws.

From The BBC:

But the women’s minister, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, said singling out these children based on perceived feminine mannerisms was traumatising and harmful to their mental health.

The camp violates the Child Act, which protects children without prejudice, she said.

Gay rights groups have also criticised the measure, saying it promotes homophobia in the Muslim-majority country where gay sex is still illegal.

The schoolboys allegedly displayed “feminine mannerisms” – though educators in the conservative state of Terengganu did not detail what they were, the BBC’s Jennifer Pak reports from Kuala Lumpur.


They blame parents for encouraging boys to develop feminine traits, by dressing them up in girls’ clothing at a young age.

The boys, all between the ages of 13–17, were not forced to go, officials are quick to point out, but they say that as educators they have a responsibility to children to prevent them from reaching “the point of no return.”

Sodomy is still criminalized in Malaysia with up to 20 years in prison, however the statute is not uniformly enforced. Transgender people can also be prosecuted under laws that restrict apparent gender non-conforming behavior.

To read more background on this story, please click here.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to brainchildvn.

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Brenda Gilbert
Brenda Gilbert4 years ago

It's so encouraging that there is at least one voice in the Malaysian government speaking out in support of open-mindedness - not to mention plain common sense. I give my unqualified support to this minister and hope she can make an impact on policy.
At least the injustice done to these teenagers has been brought to international attention. Let's hope, pray and trust that some good can come of this.

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jennifer W.
Jennifer W.4 years ago

Another glaring example of the crushing effects of the lack of separation of church and state. All religions are fertility cults in disguise so homosexuality is frowned upon because it restricts growth of the cult. I know that's a sweeping generalisation- and I'm not gay- and there are some great things that religion has done for humanity. However, because of over population and well formed secular laws, we have to start thinking beyond restrictive. hardline religions and let people be free to develop their own lifestyles and sexual choices. It's not so long ago that western countries had nomosexuality as a crime and people looked down on gays- this caused so much anquish for people- living a lie is terribly difficult. I believe that acceptance has made the world a much better and more loving place as people can follow their hearts without fear.

Danielle Herie
Danielle Herie4 years ago


Flora Wellbeloved

Oh my god! My son could have ended up here had we lived there. He is now 15 and not gay or was he dressed in girls clothes but was merely bought up in a female environment so developed a feminine way of looking at the world and acting in his mannerisms etc. This is so wrong, there are many reasons why some boys may seem less 'boyish' than others but their sexuality should not even be an issue

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago

And they think these kids would be saved from becoming what they really are?

Sharon Balloch
Sharon Balloch4 years ago

Oh my Gosh... talk about pointing the finger at kids and placeing them in danger.. .. what is wrong with these people??

Vera Y.
Vera Yuno4 years ago

i would say Oh my God if I was not atheist............ Which century these people live in???????????