The LGBTQ+ community have been severely marginalised in a country like Malaysia and have been discriminated against and chided upon, for just being themselves. Malaysia is a great example of a country where the lines between religion and law are often blurred or simply, non-existent in most cases. This has led to cases such as child marriages still being defended due to its so-called encouragement according to religious contexts. Now, coming back to the LGBTQ+ community, this group of people have been denied their rights by the authorities to be able to live unscathed, unharmed and unarrested just for identifying themselves as part of the community.
People from the LGBTQ+ community have been arrested under Section 377 of the Malaysian Penal Code: Unnatural Offences which state that any voluntary carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man or woman shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years! Some states such as Terengganu practice public caning for people in same-sex relationships.
It gets worse especially when JAKIM implemented rehabilitation programmes and continues to villainise LGBTQ+ people. These people have always been put into a bad light and have been forced to deny their sexuality leading, to an excessive amount of stress.
In recent years, the rise of activism have been pushing for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community on a wider scale. However, it seems as though the powers that be are trying to indoctrinate the concept of villainising the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to a younger audience — school students! With Moral Studies being a compulsory subject for non-Muslim students throughout Form 4 and Form 5, it is to no doubt a dangerous hub for schools to spread false notions about a particular community.
Recently, a Twitter user was extremely frustrated with a PowerPoint slide provided by her school that gave the problem statement of, “Supporters of the LGBT community in our country are rapidly increasing till some of them are bravely asking for their rights. Our country has been shocked by the first same-sex wedding a few years back. This has made youngsters exposed to bad behaviours.”
The question that followed was, “According to the situation above, is it right for the practice to be supported and recognised by our community based on universal values learnt?”
In the slide, it could be seen that the teacher has included ‘not right’ as the default answer! In a country whose main emphasis is critical thinking, why can’t these kids think for themselves and give their own opinions? For the sake of scoring high marks, students are forced to write the fact that they don’t agree with the recognition of the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s funny to think about the evolvement of education to become a hub for the indoctrination of false narratives — one that might spread extremism and violence towards the LGBTQ+ community.
This does not happen just in Moral Studies. In fact, the syllabus of Physical Education (PE) or widely known as ‘Pendidikan Jasmani dan Kesihatan’ often insists that LBGTQ+ people are a threat to society and that it’s a “trend” that would spoil the minds of the future generation. For clarification, being part of the LGBTQ+ community is not a trend as it’s a freedom of expressing one’s sexuality.
Nevertheless, as long as the lines between religion and legal matters, education and politics are blurred, this would be an ongoing issue but fear not, fellow comrades! The progress might be slow but the LGBTQ+ community should surely get their right to express themselves freely without prejudice or bias.