The wife of the Malaysian prime minister has defended the exclusion of protecting the rights of LGBT people in the controversial ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) declaration of human rights that was signed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last week.
Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor said in an interview with Phnom Penh Post:
‘You know why HIV and AIDS occur… how it is being spread. Now the number of people suffering from HIV is alarming. What is it you want? Do you want to allow this… or do you want to contain it.
‘You have to nip [homosexuality] in the bud. If you don’t, when the time comes and you have to stop [homosexuality], you will find it’s too late.’
President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Ou Virak, described Rosmah’s comments as ‘bogus and extremely homophobic’.
‘Come on, it’s 2012,’ Virak told Claire Knox of Phnom Penh Post. ‘The world knows this is not true. This confirms our fears about the declaration – that these clauses were included to give governments excuses to not uphold universal principles of human rights.’
Rosmah described human rights as ‘the rights of an individual based on what you believe in, based on your culture and your religion’. She said it was ‘fine’ for other countries to recognize LGBT rights, they wanted to run Malaysia based on ‘high morality’.
In June Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak described LGBT people as ‘deviant aspects’ who do not ‘have a place in the country’ in a statement about the economic and spiritual development of the country.