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Malaysian political parties neglect LGBT votes in manifestos

Malaysian political parties neglect LGBT votes in manifestos

Neither of the main political coalitions in Malaysia has mentioned LGBT rights in their manifesto, neglecting a key group who could make all the difference to winning or losing the election, activists say.

‘I think they see us as a minority and a negligible minority,’ said LGBT rights activist Angela Kuga Thas, speaking on a Kini TV show examining the issue.

‘At the last election those who won won on a very small majority of 3 to 10%, and we make up, generally in terms of global statistics, a population of 3 to 10%… I think they’ve made a really serious mistake.’

Campaign fever is currently hitting Malaysia as the country anticipates a general election on 5 May.

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost more than two-thirds of their seats at the last election in 2008, winning only a slim majority and knocking their complacency about holding power in various forms since independence from Britain in 1957.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and BN politicians have repeatedly made inflammatory homophobic statements, like deputy education minister who endorsed parenting seminars which taught how to ‘curb’ LGBT behavior in children.

Unfortunately for Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is no better. He sued a newspaper for saying he supports gay rights and then said in court that he believes gay people should be discriminated against.

LGBT rights activist Pang Khee Teik said he supports Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) a socialist party that currently only has one seat in parliament.

‘PSM stands for the marginalized, from LGBTs to the poor to the stateless,’ said Pang.

Watch the Kini TV report here: