What the Jaringan Melayu Malaysia has done and is planning to do in our schools with this campaign are clearly illegal under the law. Is this campaign being endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Education?

Azrul Mohd Khalib (TMI)

In recent years, there has been much discussion and debate on whether Malaysia needs hate-crime legislation.

We recently heard the announcement by the de facto law minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, of the government deciding against introducing a race relations law.

He indicated that current laws could and would adequately regulate racial extremism and that existing criminal and preventive laws such as the Sedition Act and the Criminal Procedure Code provided sufficient coverage of offences which might occur and affect race relations.

This positive move by the government is both interesting and an important one as it rightly recognises that Malaysian society is slowly but surely moving towards a more mature state of being. The minister’s statement clearly indicated that the issue was not so much as being tolerant but one in which there is recognition and acceptance of our ethnic diversity and social plurality. Indeed, we should commend and support such a stand, particularly as it reduces the need for yet another law which attempts to regulate what is in a person’s heart and mind.

Having said that, it is important to recognise that hate crimes in Malaysia extend beyond the realms of racial and ethnic relations.

If we remember, the race relations law was first proposed in the wake of several incidences in 2010 where a couple of school principals and several civil servants, including one from — ironically — the National Civics Bureau, were found to have allegedly uttered racial slurs.

Today once again, our education system is being misused as a conduit to channel hate and prejudice towards others. A nationwide campaign to 30 schools had been planned by the Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (Malay Network of Malaysia) to campaign against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minorities. JMM, utilising its awareness module, appears to target school students to cultivate early on a feeling and disposition of hatred, fear and discrimination towards a minority deemed to be a menace to Malay society. As this is a solely Malay agenda being promoted by a group calling themselves representatives or self-anointed champions of the Malay community, I can only conclude that based on their foaming diatribes both online and in the public domain, they are of the opinion that the LGBT bunch are somehow a humongous threat to Malay society. Nobody else is making a fuss and I don’t see a multi-ethnic or multi-religious coalition on this issue either.

It’s hard to know when you are an adult who is gay or who is not (believe me, despite some claims out there, nobody’s gaydar is 100 per cent accurate), who is a lesbian (can you tell?), and who is a bisexual (everyone fails this one). The only exception here is if you identify yourself as a transsexual but even then only if you dress in women’s clothes.

Being lembut or gentle does not mean you are a transsexual or gay. I have met several transsexual men or trans man (those who are born female and identify themselves as men) in the past year and I can tell you that I failed in every instance to recognise them as originally women. Some of them have beards, bulging muscles, beer bellies and all.

So, you see, it isn’t as simple as some people might think.

So what happens when a group of students somehow find a kid who they have determined to be a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual? Are they going to take him or her to the back of the Kemahiran Hidup shed to “straighten” him/her out? Send the kid to the principal or the counsellor?

More likely, due to the “awareness” which is better described as hate instilled into them by the JMM campaign, the group will take it upon themselves to apply some “remedies” or “rehabilitation” by beating the stuffing out of him or her. The least that could happen would be a certain amount of ragging or verbal abuse resulting in depression. The worse case: A kid either takes his or her life or dies at the hands of “moral vigilantes” who we helped create through this JMM rubbish.

What if this kid were your son or daughter?

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/article/hate/