Current Affairs

Malaysian newspaper criticised for its ‘how to spot a gay person’ list


LGBTQ discrimination is rife in Malaysia, but it doesn’t get more ridiculous than an article telling readers how to spot them.

Malaysian newspaper Sinar Harian has been criticised by activists for publishing a list of pointers last Friday, warning that it could put lives at risk.

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According to a video by Malaysian YouTuber Arwind Kumar, the list of pointers states that gay men like to wear tight clothes “to show off their six packs,” have facial hair, and like to wear branded clothes.

As for the traits that identify lesbians, they’re said to love being alone, belittling men, and love “walking around hugging each other and holding hands.”

“If you really want to educate society, then explain to them the traits of a pedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper. Those kind of people who actually endanger the life of another,” Kumar said.

“Do not tell them about gays — how the hell does a gay person endanger your life? … With an article like this you’re only going to take away lives. 

“That’s what you’re going to do, and if that’s what you’re happy doing because you want less gay people in this country, good job to you.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, and the country still retains colonial-era sodomy laws that ban sexual acts “against the order of nature.” The Human Rights Watch states LGBTQ discrimination in the country “reaches the highest levels of government.” 

@sinarharianSH you serious? You’re allowing this kind of homophobic, baseless, senseless article on your paper? This generalisation is unbelievable! What rubbish is this?!

No wonder people mostly use Sinar Harian to bungkus nasi lemak! Because it’s not worth keeping!

— Hubert Mr. Marvellous (@iHubertLee) February 9, 2018

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which featured an LGBTQ character, was initially held from releasing in Malaysia but was later approved with a “minor edit concerning a gay moment in the film” by state censors. It even affects companies: Facebook’s pride reaction was not rolled out to users the country.

Last year, the country’s health authorities ran a competition on how to “prevent” homosexuality and transgenderism.

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