START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Sexuality Rights Festival Banned in Malaysia

Sexuality Rights Festival Banned in Malaysia

A ‘sexuality rights’ festival in Malaysia has been forced to cancel events following threats and a government ban.

Seksualiti Merdeka has been held since 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, and represents a coalition of Malaysian NGOs (including Malaysian Bar Council, SUARAM, Empower, PT Foundation, United Nations, Amnesty International) and individuals. Apart from the annual festival, they also organize workshops, talks, film screenings and letter writings.

Merdeka is Malaysia’s Independence Day, so Seksualiti Merdeka means “Sexuality Independence.” Organizers say they use this term “to highlight the fact that even all these years after our independence, not all Malaysians are free to be who they are.”

Previously, the event has not been widely publicized, but this year it was and this led to the ban by Kuala Lumpur City Hall who vowed to scupper any attempts at reviving or promoting the “immoral” event.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police were not against freedom of expression or human rights, but had to step in because the organizers did not have a permit to hold the festival in public.

He also said the police had banned the event to safeguard public order after receiving several reports against Seksualiti Merdeka. It has been the target of widespread protests by Muslim organizations who claim the festival ‘seeks to sully the Islamic faith.’

“We are not against the people’s right to freedom of speech or human rights. However, if the event creates uneasiness among the vast majority of the population, it may result in disharmony, enmity and threaten public order,” Abu Bakar said.

Utusan Malaysia reported the chief of Malaysia’s influential conservative Perkasa organization Ibrahim Ali as saying Seksualiti Merdeka is trying to promote “animal culture” among the people and urged the authorities to take firm action against the organizers of the event, as they posed a threat to Islam. Ali has previously called for a “crusade” against Christians who challenge Islam’s position.

However, the group NGO Sisters in Islam, which supports the rights of Muslim women, disagreed with the police ban.

“While we understand that there are Muslims opposed to ideas of respecting gender and sexual diversity, as a Muslim women’s organization, Sisters in Islam disagrees with methods used to stifle these ideas,” said the group in a statement.

The event’s organizers said:

We are saddened that many Malaysians, including people’s elected representatives, have seen fit to relentlessly persecute, stigmatise and discriminate all those who have found a safe space to dialogue and share information and knowledge on human rights during Seksualiti Merdeka’s events.

We are Malaysian citizens who are being denied our rights to our identity and self-determination.

The false allegations and ill-intended remarks made to incite hate towards us are completely unjustified. They have further marginalized a group of Malaysians that have long suffered severe marginalization in society. As a United Nations Human Rights Council member, the Malaysian government should be ashamed for endorsing and encouraging such intimidation and scare tactics.

Related stories:

The Strange Treatment of Trans People in Malaysia’s Media

Malaysian Gay Pastor: Keep Coming Out

Malaysian Court Rejects Transexual’s Gender Change Request

Read more: , , ,

Image Seksualiti Merdeka

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

22 comments

+ add your own
8:58AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Caroline V, nice to hear there is some place there that doesn't discriminate against gays, but Malaysia does. It is prison for LGBT people there. Even one of your leading politicians was arrested & imprisoned for supposedly being gay. Have you forgotten that? If it can happen to someone of his status, what do you think they do to the poor people at the other end of the social strata?

You've commented before about how wonderful, free & tolerant Malaysia is, all against existing evidence to the contrary. If it is so tolerant & LGBT accepting, why did Malaysia vote with all other Muslim majority nations against the French/EU UN resolution prohibiting discrimination/persecution against & the state murder of LGBT people, & against accepting the Int'l Lesbian Gay Human Rights group just being admitted to observer status at the UNHCR?

You've said before about religious freedom there, but that contradicts your own constitution that states that ALL Malay ethnic people must be Muslims - that's not freedom. You may be allowed to become Muslim, but does it work the other way around? Not according to your constitution. And with Islamism spreading in the country with its pure Islamic intolerance, you're sure to feel the pinch yourself soon. Get your hijab out. You seem to be very naive. We've heard the same kind of comments from Saudis who say how tolerant & free their country is too. Why don't you talk to those human rights NGO people & get what i

6:21AM PST on Nov 10, 2011

And why would anyone be asked about their "sexual preference" in a job interview? That should be illegal....it's certainly not the business of a potential employer.

6:48PM PST on Nov 9, 2011

@Caroline V., are you a LGBT Malaysian person? Don't think so. You're a christian and heterosexual Malaysian person. So, what gives you right to speak in the name of LGBT Malaysian population denying the facts given in the article?

By the way, is gays' fault that many heterosexual people dump their babies in dustbins? I think that's the heterosexual world's issue, not gay world's.

ONT, sadly, Malaysian situation is very similar to the situation in for example countries of former Yugoslavia: Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and so on, in a tragical and sad part of Europe i.e. southeastern Europe.
And it's ironical that Malaysia wants to present itself as respectable power in the Southeast Asia yet it disrespects the human rights of its own nonheterosexual citizens.

6:12AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

No one is discriminated here on their sexual preferences. In fact, one of my good friends is a manager for a famous telco in Malaysia and she said during interviews conducted and subsequent training, the applicants are asked about their 'sexual preference', not to label or discriminate , but to understand and accept them into the organization as a 'family'. Many of those on the front desk providing customer service in her company belong to LGBT.

Awareness can be created in many other ways. The organizers of the said event are blowing this out of proportion for 'cheap publicity'.

Someone here stated about the 'eyes of the world' being on the "Malaysian government'. I suggest that the 'world's eye' focus on countries that are dealing with actual issues that strip humans of their rights. What about Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka trying to escape answering his war crimes including inhuman treatment against the Tamils. Is the Malaysian government doing what he did??

We are doing quite fine over here. As a multiracial population, our tolerance is very high for everything 'different' and 'diverse' including LGBT.


6:07AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

As a Malaysian , I feel Malaysians have too much of 'free time' to dwell on matters like this while there are more crucial issues to highlight and discuss.

"Organizers say they use this term “to highlight the fact that even all these years after our independence, not all Malaysians are free to be who they are.”

Really? Isn't the 'freedom' that we have bestowed on the younger generation enough, so much so, every day we have reports of babies being dumped in dustbins? Why doesn't anyone go to the streets to have sex education implemented in our education?

"Ali has previously called for a “crusade” against Christians who challenge Islam’s position."

When did he do that? I am a minority and a Christian in Malaysia, I find this, ridiculous. We do not have a 'religious war' going on here. While I admit Ibrahim has been vocal in his views, he has never made such a remark that has been stated in this article. It is highly inaccurate.

"We are Malaysian citizens who are being denied our rights to our identity and self-determination."

No one is discriminated here on their sexual preferences. In fact, one of my good friends is a manager for a famous telco in Malaysia and she said during interviews conducted and subsequent training, the applicants are asked about their 'sexual preference', not to label or discriminate , but to understand and accept them into the organization as a 'family'. Many of those on the front desk providing customer s

5:57AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

As a Malaysian , I feel Malaysians have too much of 'free time' to dwell on matters like this while there are more crucial issues to highlight and discuss.

"Organizers say they use this term “to highlight the fact that even all these years after our independence, not all Malaysians are free to be who they are.”

Really? Isn't the 'freedom' that we have bestowed on the younger generation enough, so much so, every day we have reports of babies being dumped in dustbins? Why doesn't anyone go to the streets to have sex education implemented in our education?

"Ali has previously called for a “crusade” against Christians who challenge Islam’s position."

When did he do that? I am a minority and a Christian in Malaysia, I find this, ridiculous. We do not have a 'religious war' going on here. While I admit Ibrahim has been vocal in his views, he has never made such a remark that has been stated in this article. It is highly inaccurate.

"We are Malaysian citizens who are being denied our rights to our identity and self-determination."

No one is discriminated here on their sexual preferences. In fact, one of my good friends is a manager for a famous telco in Malaysia and she said during interviews conducted and subsequent training, the applicants are asked about their 'sexual preference', not to label or discriminate , but to understand and accept them into the organization as a 'family'. Many of those on the front desk providing customer s

10:33PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

REpugs in Malaysia.

4:15PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

@Pam W.;@Brian M.: AGREED!!

11:38AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

You cannot currently send a star to Brian because you have done so within the last week.

+++++++++++++ But I would if I could! Once again, religion tries to create evil where none exists.

11:02AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Religion has always been an instrument of control and domination. It is nothing less than the enemy of human happiness and human progress.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

The Good Old Boys Club Needs Lessons about Respecting Women. How long will we be deemed second class…

Wiretapping??? Not even close. This is a prime example of the constitutionally safeguarded practice of…

The Scriptures tell (in detail) why God is permitting man's earthly activities. I know for certain you've…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.