One of Malaysia’s oldest universities has barred a trans women netball team from competing.
A senior member staff took to Facebook to say only male or female teams could compete and that LGBT or transgender teams were not welcome.
Muslim-majority Malaysia, led by politicians and religious leaders, is becoming increasingly intolerant towards its LGBTI population.
The university is ‘always alert with LGBT issues in line with the government’s stance’ associate professor of the sports facility at Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI) wrote.
He also shared copies of the team’s registration forms.
‘Hatred in human hearts’
The Transwomen team had recently taken third place in the male category of the UPSI international netball tournament.
One of the team members, Lysa Asraf, shared the news on Facebook.
Lysa Asraf said the team just wanted to join ‘sports and living a healthy life and involved in activities like any other [people]’.
But, Lysa Asraf blamed UPSI for stoking ant-LGBTI attitudes. ‘Thank you for burning the spirit of hatred in human hearts in Malaysia in particular’ Lysa Asraf also wrote.
Renowned transgender activist, Nisha Ayub, also took to Facebook to denounce UPSI.
She said when trans people tried to be part of society, they were targeted.
‘Why do preachers practice such bully and hatred towards the minorities?’ She asked.
‘What do these people get from making other people’s lives difficult?’
Ayub blamed local anti-LGBT preacher, PU Amin for ‘creating an issue’ with the team. Amin famously previously blamed LGBTI people for earthquakes.
LGBTI rights in Malaysia
LGBTI Malaysians were once again under attack this week after the Women’s March Malaysia included demands for LGBT rights on Saturday (9 March).
A member of parliament said organizers had ‘abused democratic space to defend something that is wrong by Islam’.
‘The government is firm that LGBT practices will never be accepted in this country’ he also said.
Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. A colonial-era law punishes gay sex with up to 20 years in prison.
Shariah courts following Islamic law run parallel to the secular judiciary.
Last week, the country’s tourism minister claimed the country had no homosexuals.
Police have raided gay clubs and arrested individuals.
One conservative state caned women for attempting lesbian sex. At least two trans women have been murdered in the last few months.
And, importantly, the government continues to spew anti-LGBTI rhetoric.
Malaysia’s prime minister last year said Malaysia could not accept LGBT rights and labeled them a Western import.