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Malaysian leader says LGBTI rights are ‘Western values’

Malaysian leader says LGBTI rights are ‘Western values’

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed (Photo: Facebook)

Malaysia’s leader Mahathir Mohamad once again said his country cannot accept LGBT rights such as same-sex marriage this week.

He dismissed them as ‘Western’ values at an event in Bangkok, Thailand.

Malaysia is becoming increasingly intolerant of its LGBTI population.

‘At this moment, we do not accept LGBT but if they [the West] want to accept, that is their business. Don’t force it on us’, he said according to Agence France-Presse.

‘The institution of marriage, the institution of the family has now been disregarded in the West. Why should we follow that? Our value system is as good,’ he said.

‘If they [the West] one day decided to walk around naked, do we have to follow?’

Mahathir was echoing comments he made last month that Malaysia cannot accept equal marriage or LGBT rights.

‘New’ Malaysia

Malaysian politicians, ministers and religious leaders continue to make anti-LGBTI comments. This week, leader of the opposition blamed the devastating quake-tsunami natural disasters in Indonesia on LGBTI people.

Importantly, a 2013 survey found 86 percent of Malaysians believed homosexuality should not be socially accepted. Only nine percent said it should.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia under Section 377 of the Penal Code. It is similar colonial-era legislation to the anti-gay law that India dismantled last month.

Furthermore, advocacy groups have warned of a backsliding in human rights for LGBTI Malaysians since a new government took power.

In the last two months, Malaysia caned two women for attempting lesbian sex. Police also raided the oldest gay club in the country. What’s more, ministers and politicians have spoken out against the LGBTI community.

Therefore, LGBTI groups have warned Malaysian leaders to stop using the LGBTI community as a ‘punching bag’.

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