LGBT: PAS women’s chief sees no contradiction between PM, deputy minister

23-Jan-2021 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 6:02 AM Print This Post

PAS women’s chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh sees no contradiction in the prime minister’s recent exhortation against hate speech and the government’s push for heavier punishments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin Yassin told an Asean event that the regional bloc ought to employ a tougher stance against hate speech targeting a person’s gender, sexual orientation and other attributes.

Earlier this week, de facto religious affairs deputy minister Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said Putrajaya plans to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act commonly known as Act 355 to provide heavier penalties specifically for LGBT people.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Nuridah said she supported both statements.

“The prime minister and the deputy minister’s statements do not contradict each other.

“The PM wants to take stern action against those who are hateful and hostile.

“What the deputy minister is proposing is an act of love to save them (LGBT people) from continued gender confusion and sin,” the senator opined.

Walk the talk

Rights groups have since urged Muhyiddin to walk the talk by ensuring his own administration protects LGBT people from hate speech by state actors.

Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Women, Children and Social Development Issues member Alice Lau proposed the government begin by taking action on offending MPs.

“There’s always a double standard in Malaysia. I would like to urge our Perikatan Nasional government to walk the talk and not practice any double standard.

“We should start from the Dewan Rakyat and take stern action on gender-based hate speech by any MP.

“Next, we should be monitoring social networks to raise awareness using anti-sexism and anti-hate speech campaigns. And also gender-based campaigns, in particular among the younger population,” she said.

As for the proposed amendments to Act 355, the Lanang lawmaker reminded that all were equal before the law.

“Hate speech and acts of violence should be condemned and everyone deserves to be treated with respect as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” she said.

Meanwhile, fellow PSC member Fuziah Salleh regretted that the committee would not be scrutinising laws against transgender people.

Its terms of reference was still being fine-tuned but she believed the PSC could look into hate speech against women but not LGBT people.

“We have yet to determine (the people groups that we will look at) in detail. But it is for women. I believe we will look into discrimination, hate speech will be in that category I think,” she told Malaysiakini when contacted.

Combat cyberbullying

Batu Kawan lawmaker Kasthuri Patto similarly welcomed Muhyiddin’s comments and proposed the premier look into hate speech online.

“The PM must put his foot down on this stand back home in our own backyard.

“To date, we have no act or law to deal with cyberbullying which includes hate speech targeting ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality and sexual orientation,” she said.

With Parliament suspended until August due to the nationwide emergency, she regretted how the government would not be able to table its new cyberbullying law.

Kasthuri further urged Putrajaya to get serious about combating online child pornography and child prostitution, especially on the dark web.

“I believe these should be the key issues the PM needs to sort out back home.

“Will the PM commit to using the current government machinery especially on social media and conventional media to project more progressive ideas that are not homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, racist and bigoted?” she posed.


Category: Malaysia

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