Prove you’re not gay, Zahrain told

An activist denounces the Bayan Baru MP for seeking a ban on LGBTs from public office 

(Free Malaysia Today) – A sexuality rights activist has challenged Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim to prove he is not gay, saying he should otherwise refrain from trying to spearhead a campaign against those with alternative sexual orientations.

Responding to Zahrain’s call for a ban on lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) from public office, Seksualiti Merdeka founder Pang Khee Teik said: “Why don’t he demonstrate and prove if he is LGBT first? How would we know, really?”

Pang said it was “not an impossible thing” that Zahrain himself was gay. “We know a lot of LGBTs who have been pressured into a different life, marrying people of the opposite sex although they are gay. So how can you tell if Zahrain is not?”

Pang also claimed to know many “leaders of companies, civil societies and the civil service” who are homosexual or bisexual.

“They have contributed a lot to the country in realising the visions of democracy and diversity. Only the morally bankrupt can’t see this and is threatened by the honesty and transparency of the openly LGBT.”

Yesterday, Zahrain said Malaysians should not allow anyone who is LGBT to become prime minister or hold any other public office.

Observers see the remark as targeting Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has rejected insinuations that he is gay or bisexual and who has twice been acquitted of charges of sodomy.

“Historically, sex is the easiest, dirtiest, and cheapest way to target a political opponent when you cannot challenge someone intelligently on merit and principles,” said Pang.

Last week, Zahrain attempted to table an emergency motion in Parliament to bar people who are LGBT from becoming MPs and senators. However, the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Pandikar Amin Mulia, rejected the motion as “insignificant”, citing Standing Orders 18(2) and 23(1).

A disappointed Zahrain afterwards said he would get “friends” in the Senate, including those from the opposition parties, to raise the matter in the upper house.

Following Pandikar Amin’s decision, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia and several other NGOs announced plans to stage a public rally this Saturday at Dataran Merdeka to demand the speaker’s resignation.