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Content about Malaysia

September 2, 2014

The two students could face up to three months in jail and six cane strokes after a sex toy was found in their room

A lesbian couple was arrested by religious officers yesterday during a raid of a budget hotel in Malaysia.

Nine officers from the Johor Islamic Religious Department raided their room in Johor Bahru at around 12.45am, the Sinar Harian newspaper reported.

One of the women answered the door while the other was naked in the bathroom. 

The women, both students aged 20 and 21, were not initially suspected of breaching 'close proximity' laws but officers became wary when the women remained silent as they searched the room.

July 22, 2014

Human rights groups are calling on Malaysia’s National Unity Consultative Council to stand strong in the face of criticism after it included sexuality and gender identity among protected groups in a draft new anti-discrimination bill

Malaysian human rights groups Diversity and Penang Freedom to Love are asking their country’s National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to stand firm via a new online petition campaign after it released a draft bill of a proposed new anti-discrimination law.

The current draft of National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill would prohibit unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexuality by the government or any person.

June 13, 2014

Chooi Cheung attacked her lover and former employee with a knife, suspecting she was leaving the country with money she had lent her

A woman who stabbed her lesbian lover in the face and neck while she was sleeping has been sentenced with life imprisonment.

In December 2013, businesswoman Chooi Cheung, 53, stabbed her lover of seven years Leng Hie Tiong, 38, in the face and neck as they lay in bed together.

The attack was reportedly sparked by Cheung thinking Tiong was going to leave her and move back to Malaysia, along with a large amount of money she had lent her.

June 11, 2014

Women were rounded up by religious vice authorities in raid on a wedding

A group of trans women have had their heads shaved and jailed in a male prison in Malaysia.

The 16 women, who were sentenced on Monday (9 June), have already served two days in prison.

It followed their arrest at a wedding in Bahau, Jempol, because the religious police said the women and one other were violating Sharia law.

The other escaped jail, as she was under the age of 18, but will be counselled for a year to ‘cure’ her condition.

April 27, 2014

'Obama wants to appear to his own people, and to the rest of the world, as the leader of the free world. It is easy for him to perform USA's moral leadership globally by supporting rights issues elsewhere. But why should Obama have the moral imperative to support local rights issues elsewhere?'

(With US President Barack Obama on a historic visit to Malaysia this weekend, Malaysian LGBT rights activist Pang Khee Teik responds to the Human Rights Watch’s call on Obama to address LGBT issues among other rights during his visit.)

April 26, 2014

'Speaking out on anti-gay persecution in Kuala Lumpur could have a long-lasting impact in Malaysia, both in demonstrating international support for this community under threat, and in setting the tone for a more civil public debate in the country,' says Human rights Watch's Asia advocacy director John Sifton

US President Barack Obama should use his historic visit to Malaysia this weekend to speak directly to concerns about the country’s deteriorating human rights situation, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Thursday.

Obama arrives in the Muslim-majority country on Saturday for a two-night stay; the first visit by a serving US president since 1966.

March 22, 2014

The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus calls on the ASEAN governments to place greater priority on the well-being and welfare of all peoples in its 10 member-states

LGBT rights activists attending the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) in Yangon, Myanmar from 21 to 23 March 2014 are continuing to lobby its 10 member-states to promote and protect the rights of its LGBTIQ people.

The 10 member-states are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The ACSC/APF is held ahead of the ASEAN Summit in May which will also be hosted by Myanmar, the Chair of ASEAN this year.

March 8, 2014

Human rights groups have called the campaign against the former deputy prime minister politically motivated

A Malaysian court on Friday overturned an earlier acquittal and sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on sodomy charges, ending his hopes of contesting a local by-election this month.

In 2008, Anwar was charged for having sex with a male aide. He was acquitted in 2012 by a High Court citing a lack of evidence. The government later appealed the court’s ruling.

February 12, 2014

International human rights group Human Rights Watch has called on the Malaysian Government to stop trying to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prosecuted over claims he has had sex with men and to end its colonial era ban on gay sex

Human Rights Watch have called on the Malaysian Government to end its attempts to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed over claims he has had sex with men in what is widely viewed as an effort to keep the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power.

BN have ruled Malaysia since 1974 and Ibrahim is a former BN MP turned vocal critic of the government who has been trying to unseat the Malaysian Government since 1998.

February 12, 2014

International human rights group Human Rights Watch has called on the Malaysian Government to stop trying to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prosecuted over claims he has had sex with men and to end its colonial era ban on gay sex

Human Rights Watch have called on the Malaysian Government to end its attempts to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed over claims he has had sex with men in what is widely viewed as an effort to keep the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power.

BN have ruled Malaysia since 1974 and Ibrahim is a former BN MP turned vocal critic of the government who has been trying to unseat the Malaysian Government since 1998.

February 5, 2014

Gay people live in and travel to places that may not have the best LGBTI rights record. Should that stop us from traveling to these destinations?

Last month, some of the LGBTI community’s leading activists met in London to debate the ethics of LGBTI travel.

Should individuals travel to a country hostile to the gay, bi and trans community?

Should travelers boycott these countries in attempts to influence them by hurting their travel industry, or should we go anyway to engage with the locals and support the local LGBTI movement?

January 29, 2014

Dick Pound: 'Not that I approve of the law, but putting it on a scale of 1-10 of odious laws, it’s not way up there near 10'

Dick Pound, a Canadian who is a member of the International Olympic Committee, says Russia's anti-gay propaganda law isn't so bad when you compare it to some other countries.

'In Malaysia, you can be put to death. In Nigeria, you can be put in jail for God knows how long,' Pound tells Metro News.'So it’s a target of convenience with respect to Russia'

January 11, 2014

Malaysia's Home Ministry has banned and accused the country’s leading human rights coalition of pursuing gay, lesbian and transgender rights which "run contrary to Islam"

In a move that has been denounced by human rights groups including Amnesty International, Malaysia's Home Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement declaring the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) illegal because the group and 39 of its 54 member-organisations are not registered with the government.

January 11, 2014

Malaysia's Home Ministry has banned and accused the country’s leading human rights coalition of pursuing gay, lesbian and transgender rights which "run contrary to Islam"

In a move that has been denounced by human rights groups including Amnesty International, Malaysia's Home Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement declaring the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) illegal because the group and 39 of its 54 member-organisations are not registered with the government.

December 31, 2013

A group of local gay men show Sydney-based journalist Chris Muakcha Topp through the Malaysian capital during Ramadan, offering a warm welcome in a city with a dicey anti-gay reputation

I won't usually visit a country where me and my kin can face severe penalties for being who we are and doing what we do.

But this time a booking stuff-up of my own making means I'm spending less than two days in Malaysia enroute from Bangkok to Sydney.

And part of me likes the idea of spending even a short time alone exploring a new city, although I realize this isn't a choice everyone has the privilege to make.

November 20, 2013

For Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember the horrific tragedies that led to the deaths of trans victims worldwide

When you hear that 238 trans people have been killed this year, including 11 children, it’s a horrific number.

But it’s more than a number. It is 238 people just like you who have lost their lives to intolerance, to hatred, and to fear.

When we sit and remember these victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance today (20 November), we must remember these people had hopes and dreams.

And most importantly, they had futures.

Below is a list of the men and women identified by the Trans Murder Monitoring Project.

November 6, 2013

Omar Kuddus asks if LGBTI activism has become dominated by ‘fashions’ and whether a focus on Russia is distracting from the wider struggle for rights

Whilst the world’s and media’s attention is focused on the plight of Russian LGBTIs, we must not forget homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries.

With the Winter Olympics Sochi in 2014 and Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws firmly in place, not a day goes by without some news about the conditions Russian homosexuals face under the heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

October 28, 2013

Do you have an amazing photo from your adventures? Gay Star Travel wants to share holiday pics from LGBT people and allies

Sometimes the cliché is true: a single picture can say a thousand words.

In our 'Postcards' feature, Gay Star Travel shares readers' favorite travel experiences through one memorable photo.

Gay Star News intern Anisa Easterbrook sent us this photo from Malaysia.

‘This photo was taken in Penang, Malaysia,’ Anisa told Gay Star Travel.

‘I went there with my family this year and it is by far one of my favorite holiday destinations. The wildlife and food is incredible.’

October 28, 2013

Do you have an amazing photo from your adventures? Gay Star Travel wants to share holiday pics from LGBT people and allies

Sometimes the cliché is true: a single picture can say a thousand words.

In our 'Postcards' feature, Gay Star Travel shares readers' favorite travel experiences through one memorable photo.

Gay Star News intern Anisa Easterbrook sent us this photo from Malaysia.

‘This photo was taken in Penang, Malaysia,’ Anisa told Gay Star Travel.

‘I went there with my family this year and it is by far one of my favorite holiday destinations. The wildlife and food is incredible.’

October 26, 2013

Former minister accuses NGOs of pushing for permissiveness in the name of LGBT rights

More than a decade after Malaysia triggered a raging controversy by putting its then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in the dock for alleged sodomy, the Southeastern nation witnessed a fresh uproar this week with a government MP attacking homosexuality as an ‘evil concept’ and ‘security threat’ that could ‘spark inter-religious conflict’.

October 26, 2013

Former minister accuses NGOs of pushing for permissiveness in the name of LGBT rights

More than a decade after Malaysia triggered a raging controversy by putting its then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in the dock for alleged sodomy, the Southeastern nation witnessed a fresh uproar this week with a government MP attacking homosexuality as an ‘evil concept’ and ‘security threat’ that could ‘spark inter-religious conflict’.

September 17, 2013

Global human rights group Human Rights Watch have called on Malaysia to repeal its colonial era law banning gay sex as the government continues to use it to harass Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim

Global human rights group Human Rights Watch have called on the Malaysian Government to cease its legal harassment of Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and repeal the country’s colonial era sodomy law.

Human Rights Watch made the call after the Malaysian Government decided to appeal the acquittal of Ibrahim in the Malaysian High Court on sodomy charges.

August 18, 2013

Love in the air and parties on the way as Wellington approves same-sex marriages from Monday, with nearly three dozen couples ready to say they do

There is love in the air, parties on the way and a rush to pack suitcases as New Zealand makes history Monday when nearly three dozen couples will say they do with the government approving same-sex marriages.

New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs said 31 weddings were scheduled to take place. However, the number can go up given the intense interest and excitement at home and afar.

The department said 977 marriage forms were downloaded ahead of the historic day, which means three times as usual.

August 4, 2013

Opposition leader and ex-deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal in 2008 sodomy case to be challenged in Court of Appeal

 

The acquittal of Malaysian Opposition leader and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in a 2008 sodomy charge, one of Asia’s most talked-about cases heavily tinged with political colors, gets a sequel with the prosecution’s appeal against it fixed for hearing in September.

The hearing will be held on 17 and 18 September, Malaysian media reported.