Malaysian Minister Denounces Support of LGBT+ Rights at Women’s March in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian government officials have recently condemned the support for LGBT+ groups among demonstrators partaking in an International Women’s Day march in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, March 9.
Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country where same-sex acts are outlawed and the LGBT community is often times subject to heavy policing. In a public statement by Mujahid Rawa, one of the nation’s ministers tasked with handling religious affairs, he furthers the notion that the current government does not support pro-LGBT+ causes.
On his official Facebook account, Rawa posted that he was “shocked with the actions of certain quarters today that misused democratic space to defend things that are wrong in the religion of Islam.” Rawa continued, stating that “the government is very firm that LGBT practices will not be accepted at all in this country. How is it possible that we recognize an act that is wrong in law?”
Rawa has threatened to pursue legal action against the march’s organizers, who he believes may have violated Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act of 2012. The section which Rawa references requires organizers to obtain a permit with at least ten days’ notice.
The march, held in the country’s capital, was attended by over 200 demonstrators demanding an end to many perceived injustices afflicting women and minorities in the country. Demonstrators hailed from many different backgrounds and proposed a diverse range of social reforms.
Among their demands were greater reproductive freedom and independence for women, an end to gender-based violence, an end to child marriage, a higher minimum wage, and the dismantling of the patriarchy.
Demonstrators marched nearly one kilometer from the Sogo shopping mall to the Sultan Abdul Samad building. Some prominent features of the demonstration were placards carrying phrases such as “no outfit is an invitation for rape” or “men of quality do not fear equality.”
Prominent advocacy groups such as the Women’s Aid Organization, Sisters in Islam, and Parti Sosialis Malaysia were among the march’s participants.