Malaysia’s Prime Minister has said his government will not protect LGBTI rights because they are at odds with Islam.
Najib Razak made the comments last week at an international seminar on the Islamic concept of wasatiyyah, or moderation, in Bangi, Selangor.
‘Although universal human rights have been defined, we still define human rights in the country in the context of Islam and the Sharia,’ he said, referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
‘And even if we cannot defend human rights at an international level, we must defend it in the Islamic context.’
Gay sex is illegal in the Muslim-majority country and punishable by fines, whippings or up to 20 years imprisonment.
Razak went on to say that extremist and liberal groups were trying to impose their views on the majority.
‘These groups, are hiding behind the facade of human rights to approve their acts which deviate from Islamic teaching,’ he said.
‘Such groups includes the Islamic State (IS) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT) are targeting the younger generation to spread their ideologies – and it seems like they have managed to influence them.’
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) challenged Malaysia to leave the UN if it was not serious about upholding human rights.
‘The logical argument from that would be Malaysia should resign from the UN. Is Malaysia prepared to do that?’ said Phil Robertson, deputy director of the HRW’s Asia division.