No outright ban of LGBT characters, but potential censorship in Malaysia

Malaysian officials stress there is no such thing as a ban of LGBT characters but look set to issue a guideline to advice against them

No outright ban of LGBT characters, but potential censorship in Malaysia
07 April 2012

Malaysia has no plan to ban state media programmes featuring LGBTQ characters, but retains the right to select suitable content for the public, officials clarified yesterday (6 Apr).

In what appeared to be a ‘directive’ on Facebook, the Department of Information on Thursday called on radio and television stations to stop the depiction of ‘pondans’ (transsexuals), effeminate men and characters in conflict with social and religious norms, allegedly supporting and contributing to the increase of the ‘LGBT social problem’.

With the message stirring up a hot debate online, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yaim and his deputy sought to explain the official stance both yesterday and today – only to cause much more confusion.

‘There is no ban on any artistic performance by any segment of society, including those acronymed as soft men,’ Rais wrote on Twitter.

The ministry, however, reserves the right to select contents suitable to the general public since the country is a multi-racial, religious and cultural one, he added.

Confusingly, Rais went on to state in Malacca that Malaysians have constitutionally-enshrined rights to showcase their talents through the media that ‘no quarters should attempt to prevent anyone who wants to be featured in television programmes from doing so’, according to the Star newspaper.

While confirming the ‘ban’ as a mistake, Rais’s deputy Maglin Dennis D’Cruz noted there is indeed a directive and a guideline will be produced to avoid putting LGBT characters on screen or the air waves.

Maglin was essentially contradicting a clarification and apology from the Department of Information, which noted its Facebook message was merely a ‘discussion topic’ taken from a radio station's Facebook page.

Malaysian authorities are generally unsupportive of the LGBT community. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told a counseling conference earlier this week that the profession was needed to ‘curb’ the ‘spread’ of LGBT groups, and pledged RM100,000 ($32,680, €24,860) to the Malaysian International Counseling Association to help counsel 'those faced with sexuality problems.

The government is apparently going on a spree targeting the LGBT community because it seeks to demonize and label their political enemies as such – including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, claimed Azlan Adnan, leader of the Green Party of Malaysia.

The LGBT community should not be harassed by anyone, let alone the 'cruel' government which plans to legislate such intolerance, he said.



Ibiza: party hearty with these helpful hints

Ibiza: party hearty with these helpful hints

Having graced the island of Ibiza two years running, and already planning a 2014 trip, GSN's marketing director Anthony Fortune shares his top tips to enjoy the world’s most famous party island
No thumbnail available

France says ‘non’ to anti-gay marriage march

French police have stopped an anti-marriage equality march at the famous Champs-Élysées due to 'security concerns'
No thumbnail available

Canada gay 'cure' doctor arrested for sexually assaulting men

A Canadian psychiatrist to be trialed for sexually abusing gay patients, he also used discredited aversion therapy on hundreds of South African lesbians and gays to 'cure' them of their sexuality
No thumbnail available

Single. Gay. Yoga?

Gay Star News embraces a room full of hot and sweaty men doing 'Single Gay Bikram Yoga' - for research purposes obviously...
No thumbnail available

Parliamentary survey supports gay marriage

After the Australian House of Representatives' inquiry into same-sex marriage, 58% support legalisation
No thumbnail available

Montana Democrat airs gay marriage ad

Candidate Dave Strohmaier makes an ad that pushes for gay marriage
No thumbnail available

'Appalling' not to allow conscience vote on gay marriage, says ex-NSW premier

Nick Greiner, Premier of New South Wales from 1988 to 1992, reveals he has a lesbian daughter and supports gay marriage
No thumbnail available

Pictures mean prizes for Gay Pet Month

GSN team up with Direct Line pet insurance for Gay Pet Month and your cute pictures could win you a prize
New Zealand sets new standard for LGBTI inclusion in the workplace

New Zealand sets new standard for LGBTI inclusion in the workplace

The guidance sets out criteria that all businesses should consider when tackling workplace diversity and inclusion
No thumbnail available

Gambian president calls homosexuality a ‘social cancer’ in Christmas message

Anti-gay African leader Yahya Jammeh launches fresh attacks on homosexuality and warns Gambians not to expose children to ‘alien cultures’ in annual broadcast