Umno runs down LGBT, pluralism, liberalism as assembly ends

Zurairi AR, The Malaysian Insider

Umno today wrapped up its final assembly before the polls with delegates calling for action against advocates of anti-Islam elements such as homosexuality and those who propagate pluralism and liberalism in mainly Muslim Malaysia.

While debating the issue of education and religion, one delegate even suggested a rehabilitation centre for the maligned lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.

“We want to transform them from zaman kejahilan (dark age of ignorance),” Tanjong representative Mohd Shaharudin Mohd Hasan Tajudin told the over 2,000 delegates at Umno’s cavernous Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here.

Shaharudin also suggested that high school students be taught to reject the LGBT lifestyle — along with pluralism and liberalism — in their religious education.

Another delegate, Datuk Ariffin Mohd Arif from Kimanis, called for an official sanction against those who spread pluralism and liberalism, which he called a “teaching of the Devil”.

“Just like al-Arqam … we must take action against these people. Our actions must be strict, and we must not budge,” Ariffin said.

The religious issues elicited animated responses from the delegates, with Shaharudin exclaiming that Umno fighters shall be “bathed in blood” should anyone mock Islamic principles.

“This LGBT is haram in Islam. (But the opposition) is making LGBT halal … they even said that the law on sodomy is obsolete,” said Pendang delegate Mohd Kamal Saidin, who accused Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the man responsible for this.

The ruling coalition and the opposition have been at loggerheads on the issues of LGBT, pluralism and liberalism, which are deemed sensitive in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Earlier this week, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had revealed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had objected to the inclusion of LGBT rights when signing ASEAN’s first human rights charter recently, saying Malaysia could not accept principles that go against the order of human nature.

The deputy prime minister took a swipe at Anwar when warning him against legitimising these “twisted practices” just because they were accepted by western nations, suggesting that it was the opposition leader’s “hobby”.

The Malaysian government recently came under heavy fire again when it was reported to have endorsed a list of identifiable gay and lesbian traits for schools and parents, purportedly to prevent the spread of the phenomenon among teenagers, especially students.

The controversial guideline, listed by the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily, said that gay men have muscular bodies and like to show off by wearing V-necks and sleeveless clothes, prefer tight and light-coloured clothing, are attracted to men and like to carry big handbags similar to those used by women.

Lesbians are said to be attracted to women, like to eat, sleep and hang out in the company of other women and have no affection for men, according to the report.

It was later reported that the Ministry of Education had never authorised nor endorsed the guidelines.