Malaysian netizens criticise minister’s move to use LGBT people as diversion from poor handling of COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis

Malaysian netizens have criticised a minister’s move to use lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as a diversion from the government’s poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary on Tuesday (19 January) said that the government is not ruling out the possibility of strengthening the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 to provide for harsher punishments against LGBT people.

Malaysian lawyer and human rights activist Michelle Yesudas pointed out the irrationality of targeting LGBT people in a time where the country is facing “a massive health crisis”.

“[P]eople can’t even order their food, riders are probably at risk of transmission with every turn, people are losing their jobs, rapidly decreasing beds for COVID-19 patients and you go after LGBT PEOPLE,” she tweeted.

#SiBodohKauDengarSini We are having a massive health crisis and people can’t even order their food, riders are probably at risk of transmission with every turn, people are losing their jobs, rapidly decreasing beds for COVID-19 patients and you go after LGBT PEOPLE. Irrational.

— Michelle Yesudas (@MichelleYesudas) January 19, 2021

The lawyer also branded the move as “ignorant policy-making”.

“If LGBT ppl are made to feel unsafe/stigmatized during COVID-19 and spaces are dangerous for them to access treatment, it impacts us ALL!” She stressed.

Other netizens have similarly expressed their anger at how the government often perpetuates an anti-LGBT narrative “to detract from wider issues impacting the Rakyat that they’re also responsible for”.

“Instead of addressing concerns related to rakyat during this pandemic, you are playing the lgbt card to hide your government incompetency,” said one Twitter user.

Many netizens also stood up for Malaysian LGBT people, saying that they are already legally unprotected in the country.

LGBT people in Malaysia pose no threat against the nation, they said.

Many work hard, including as front liners protecting the country during this pandemic, as pointed out by activist Pang Khee Teik.

— Mom of KL™️🇲🇾 #BantahDarurat (@amuse_gueule) January 19, 2021

Several netizens also brought up issues such as child marriage and paedophilia, both of which allegedly remain unaddressed in the country.

It is fine for rapists, pedophiles, abusers and murders to get away with their heavy sinful acts but shallow minded assholes think that being in LGBT community deserves much more hukuman than what ‘those’ received. Make it sense. LGBT does not bring any fucking harm. https://t.co/rcaM2W4JM0

— a (@b2004101_) January 19, 2021

One netizen called instead for heavier punishment against “VVIPs, VIPs, government leaders and their posse” who violate standard operating procedures and safe distancing measures during the pandemic, particularly when regular citizens have been subject to fines and jail terms for being in breach of such regulations.

For just US$7.50 a month, sign up as a subscriber on Patreon (and enjoy ads-free experience on our site) to support our mission to transform TOC into an alternative mainstream press in Singapore.
Subscribe
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments