Now Reading
Malaysia finally ditches ‘gay prevention’ competition

Malaysia finally ditches ‘gay prevention’ competition

The Malaysian Ministry of Health meets with LGBTI advocates and the Malaysian AIDS Council. Malaysia

Malaysia’s government has finally reacted to international pressure and removed a controversial category from a video competition for young people

The Ministry of Health (MOH) was offering up to $1,000 (£775 €885) for entries advocating against LGBTI lifestyles.

In their video young people aged between 12-24 had to explain how to prevent homosexuality and ‘gender confusion’.

LGBTI activists said the competition could cause violence and hatred towards the LGBTI community.

The MOH confirmed it removed the category after meeting with the Malaysian AIDS Council and other advocates.

Trans activist Nisha Ayub was at the meeting and said she was pleased with the results.

‘I had an awesome meeting today with the Ministry of Health relating with the video competition on the topic of Gender Confusion where they mentioned LGBT,’ she wrote on Facebook.

‘With both parties discussing and agreeing on the matter in a profesional manner where i see the genuine interest of MOH in regards of working with the community, MOH have agree on removing the term Gender confusion and lgbt in the video competition (sic).

‘I must give credit to MOH for their interest and commitment in understanding of the issues , needs and concern of the community.’

Competition was in good faith

The MOH released a statement shortly after the meeting saying it did not mean to single out the LGBTI community.

‘Once again, MOH would like to reiterate its good faith and that the purpose of this competition is not to single out nor to discriminate the LGBT community,’ the statement read.

‘Rather, it is hoped that this video competition will shed light on the understanding of adolescents on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) related matters, explore adolescents’ views, experiences, challenges and where to seek help if necessary.

‘The MOH… would like to reemphasise that it does not discriminate any group or individual. In this case, the health and well being of adolescents is our utmost priority.’

Homosexuality and transgenderism are illegal in Malaysia. A person convicted of homosexuality faces up to 20 years in jail or corporal punishment.