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Malaysian ruling party attack ‘LGBT’ at national conference

Malaysian ruling party attack ‘LGBT’ at national conference

Several delegates attacked the LGBT community during speeches at Malaysia’s ruling party’s national conference which ended on Saturday.

Members of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) labelled ‘LGBT’ as against Islam in the country that has the most openly expressed homophobic political rhetoric in Asia.

‘This LGBT is haram [an act that displeases Allah] in Islam. [But the opposition] is making LGBT halal …they even said that the law on sodomy is obsolete,’ said Pendang delegate Mohd Kamal Saidin, Bikyamasr reports.

Many speeches connected opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was acquitted of sodomy at a trial in January, with homosexuality – despite the fact that he said during a libel trial in July that homosexual people should be discriminated against.

The UMNO national conference was the final party gathering before the general election, which must be called before April 2013.

Human rights activists in Malaysia have noted that the government’s frequent attacks of ‘LGBTs’ is blatant political scapegoating and desperate attempts to win votes.

UMNO has been in power in Malaysia since independence in 1959 and is the largest party in the National Front (BN) coalition. At the last general election in 2008 the coalition lost their two-thirds majority.

Since 2007 NGOs and opposition parties have held a series of rallies called Bersih (meaning ‘clean’ in Malay) protesting against political corruption.