Press Statements

Contain Normalisation of LGBT

We at the Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (MACSA) wish to respond to the article titled “Time for Malaysia to embrace lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community” published in the Malay Mail on 17 May 2020 and more inappropriately, in the midst of Ramadhan, a holy month where Muslims fast in remembrance of Allah S.W.T. We note that this article was written by Bakhtiar Talhah, an executive council member of the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) and in penning the same he did not hesitate to proclaim his emphatic embrace of his homosexual urges in spite of his Malay Muslim origin in exalting all Malaysians to “embrace the LGBT community” as he puts it. It is clear from his article, that the objective is no longer to create awareness on discrimination but rather a promotion of a lifestyle as he deemed it appropriate to include his past history of gay marriage in France.

The reasons why we as a society cannot and must not heed his offensive, grotesque and deeply disturbing call are obvious as well as manifold especially to those of us of older generations hailing from a time when religious values played a more prominent role in our communities. But for the benefit of youth less imbued with religion in particular those born at the turn of the millennium and who are considering his deeply flawed arguments, it would be prudent to recount the history of today’s LGBT movement, the zenith of which they have been born into.

As recently as 1987, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said in a speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool that “Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay. All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life. Yes, cheated.” This statement, made by a Western head of state was received with thunderous applause, coming as it did then when cases of HIV and AIDS were first reported and their close connection with sexual activity between men well documented, leading to the enactment of section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 in the United Kingdom, which rightly prohibited the promotion of homosexuality as an acceptable kind of family relationship.

Fast forward to today’s world, barely 30 years later where the said law has been regrettably repealed in the UK and even the most unknown of celebrities, one such example being Israel Folau of Australian rugby fame, would have their career decimated for even mildly suggesting that they disagree with LGBT practices, even when teachings of mainstream religions of the world are clearly against the same. How did our world change so rapidly, within less than a lifetime for those of us who lived through this about-face of social norms?

In response to the AIDS pandemic and consequent negative spotlight on the so-called gay rights movement during the 1980s, in 1989, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, two members of the movement published a book called “After The Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s”. It outlined a deliberate 6-point plan to normalize and sway public opinion in favor of homosexuality. They were to, among others, talk about homosexual identity as loudly and as frequently as possible, portray homosexuals as victims of society, create for them an aura of righteousness, bring homosexual characters into mass media portraying them as cool and sophisticated as well as make those who disagree with homosexuality look like bumbling idiots or intolerant bigots and last but not least, solicit funds and make the promotion of homosexuality tax exempt and eligible for corporate funding.

This plan was put into motion as early as 1990 after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in response to pressure from LGBT lobbyists in 1973. Throughout the decade that followed, this 6-point plan was widely implemented and those of us who lived through this era witnessed the stark transition of the public sphere from one where society collectively affirmed the central role of religion and where morality was pivotal into a godless secular one where all wants, no matter how unnatural, must be fulfilled, regardless of consequences. The first time an openly homosexual character was given a positive leading role on prime-time television was as recent as 1998 in the comedy series Will and Grace and this was quickly followed by other shows such as Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, GLEE and Orange is the New Black in the 2000s.

Today, the wholesale embracing of homosexual and transgender lifestyles in media and entertainment is the norm rather than the exception. Last year, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLAAD), one of the most prominent North American LGBT lobbyists, proudly announced that they had achieved their target of 10% of scripted characters on prime-time TV shows portraying homosexuality and transgenderism in a positive light. To further normalize this deviant behaviour, they are now aiming for a new target of 20% of total scripted characters being from the LGBT, 10 times more than the surveyed real-life numbers. Major Hollywood companies, including the once family friendly Disney, have signed up to this task with much enthusiasm and gusto.

It is clear from the contents of Bakhtiar Talhah’s article that local LGBT activists including himself, taking their cue from their Western counterparts, are anxious to import and implement these ‘normalization steps’ here right out of the same playbook, and in so doing, have seized control of local non-governmental organisations such as the MAC to fight on their behalf and co-opting our frontline healthcare workers, without their consent, to their despicable cause.

In both the Noble Qur’an as well as the Holy Bible, it is clearly described that the practice of engaging in sexual relations with people of the same sex as an abomination. People of all Abrahamic faiths have a responsibility to forbid people from committing sin and to refuse to cooperate in support of it. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, whose adherents constitute the vast majority of humankind, do not accept the modern invention of categories of human beings defined by their sexual desires. Islam in particular addresses the impermissibility of sexual acts between those of the same sex but it has never recognized those acts to constitute something essential to human makeup.

The LGBT activist assertion that there exist so-called ‘LGBT rights’ is also misleading. Such rights are only a recent creation stemming from their flawed 2006 Yogyakarta Principles which we in Malaysia as well as South East Asia have not and will not recognise, and are not once alluded to in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and 2012 ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, which Malaysia subscribes to as a Muslim and South East Asian nation, not only make no mention of so-called LGBT rights but prohibit the recognition of any human right contrary to the tenets of Islam and the traditional values and customs of all peoples living within this region of the world.

Our local media must not dance to the tune of their foreign counterparts and be more responsible in the defence of our local laws and values rather than being complicit in encouraging psychologically deviant behaviour which incidentally is illegal even under civil law. We urge Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Dato’ Dr Zulkifli al-Bakri to put forward stricter legislation against the public promotion of this behaviour such as the likes of Russia when it enacted legislation titled A Law for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values, dubbed the “gay propaganda law” by the LGBT affirming Western media.

This can be done by taking immediate steps to outlaw the promotion of homosexual, transgender as well as other deviant psychological disorders such as paedophilia and psychopathy as ordinary and acceptable social behaviours within laws such as the Penal Code, the Multimedia and Communication Act 1998, the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984, the Sedition Act 1948 and other relevant laws. For Muslims, immediate amendment of the syariah criminal enactments in force within the various states must be undertaken post haste.

We in MACSA strongly urge our beloved, impressionable Muslim and Christian youth to not fall for the deception being promoted by local LGBT activists and to make good choices guided by the religions. Likewise for youth of other religions. Let us all as Malaysians take heed of the first tenet of our Rukun Negara which is Belief in God. This call accords with human rights, in particular the inalienable right to religion as propounded by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.

Lastly, we urge Bakhtiar Talhah, being a Malay Muslim, to take advantage of the blessed month of Ramadhan to make sincere repentance. The Noble Qur’an is divinely accurate in the description of the wrongdoing soul which when wounded by reminders of its guilt, often turns to pride for solace. Being homosexual is not something to be openly proud of and such desires must be suppressed in the way of the Lord. Rather it is humility which should be embraced as we all belong to Allah and to Him will be our return.



Associate Professor Dr. Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar, President of The International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education (WAFIQ) and Co-Chairperson, MACSA.

The Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process (MACSA) is a coalition of civil society organisations with the specific aim and object to look into, as well as advocate, human rights issues in Malaysia for the UPR Process.

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