(Business Standard) - Malaysia's education ministry today said it viewed the phenomenon of homosexuality seriously and wants to make sure it does not spread in schools, days after it distanced itself from 'guidelines' issued by a seminar on how to identify gay tendencies in children.
Deputy Education minister, Mohd Puad Zarkashi said various measures had and would be taken, including appointing counsellors in schools to help parents understand the issue and the dangers it posed.
"However, the ministry does not intend to issue set guidelines to curb the LGBT phenomenon although we realise that it is increasingly evident in this country," he told a parenting seminar on tackling the LGBT issue.
Mohd Puad said the question of set guidelines did not arise, but many people might have thought that the ministry was directly involved in fighting the LGBT menace by issuing such guidelines.
"Actually, we want to educate parents and expose them to the LGBT threat but the parents themselves, through the consultative council, expressed their worry over the LGBT phenomenon," he was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying.
Mohd Puad said the ministry was of the opinion that the LGBT symptoms be honestly made known to parents and teachers so that the problem involving the young, especially those still schooling, could be checked.
"The time has come for the LGBT issue be discussed openly and not treat it as a taboo subject, just like when we introduced sex education in schools where we undertook various measures including naming the subject health and reproductive education," he said.
Meanwhile, Shahlan Ismail, chairman of the parent teachers consultative council said that so far 11 seminars nationwide had been organised by the Council on the LGBT issue, to discuss with parents the "symptoms" and "preventive measures" as well as the dangers posed by the phenomenon.
"These seminars are not aimed at encouraging the public to get rid of LGBTs as claimed by some quarters, or to use violence against them or to arrest them," Bernama quoted him as saying.