The Malaysian Government launched a gay ‘prevention’ video competition, offering up to $1,000 (£775 €885) for entries advocating against LGBTI lifestyles.
To win, entrants must explain how to prevent homosexuality and ‘gender confusion’. It also asks participants to explore sex and sex on the internet.
The theme for the competition is Value Yourself, Healthy Lifestyle Practice, and it’s open to 13-24 year-olds.
According to the Malaysian Health Ministry’s website: ‘Each work will be judged on originality, content, concept and creativity and quality production by a panel of judges appointed by the organisers.’
Each entry should also explore ‘prevention and control’, ‘issues and consequences’ and ‘how to get help,’ according to the website.
‘The very fact that they lump LGBT people under a category called ‘gender confusion’ shows that the authorities are very much confused themselves,’ Pang Khee Teik, a well-known local activist, told AFP.
‘It is mind-blowing that a government agency wants the whole country to be sucked into its confluence of confusion,’ he also said.
The competition closes in August.
Malaysia’s history on LGBTI rights
Malaysia’s track record on LGBTI rights is one of the worst in the world.
Homosexual activity is criminal, with prison sentences of up to 20 years, or even corporal punishment.
Also, strict Islamic teachings shape societal attitudes towards LGBTI people in the country.
A 2013 national poll found only 9% of people believe homosexuality should be accepted in society. Surprisingly, people over 50 years old are more accepting of homosexuality than younger people.
Human Rights Watch stated: ‘Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is pervasive in Malaysia.’
Malaysia’s own Prime Minister, Najib Razak, believes Malaysia should not support LGBTI rights. He previously said there’s no need for Pride parades in the country: ‘Islam is a religion that promotes peace. Islam does not promote violence and teaches us moderation,’ he said.
‘There is no need for events like a gay parade because it is too open.’