Wednesday 23 November 2011


Making sense of nonsense
by Mohd. Kamal bin Abdullah

So, YB, are you going to now issue a statement saying that you made an error and that only anal and oral sex are crimes whereas gay relationships are not a crime according to Malaysian law? And if people live together as gay couples and only kiss, hug, touch, rub against each other, masturbate each other, but as long as there is no anal or oral sex, then the government can’t do anything about it?

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysia Today: First of all, Yang Berhormat, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.

Yang Berhormat: I am always happy to talk to the media, even opposition media like Malaysia Today, which never reports the truth and always twists and distorts what we say.

MT: Well, YB, we are here today so that you can clarify what you actually said and which you claim has been misreported. You can also take this opportunity to clarify government policy and clear whatever misconceptions or wrong perceptions the public may have. And I promise you, YB, Malaysia Today will report exactly what you said without any editing.

YB: Thank you. That is very comforting to hear. First of all, I want the readers to know that I never said that homosexuality is against the Federal Constitution. I said it is against the law.

MT: Yes, that is now very clear. In fact, earlier today, Malaysia Today published your clarification and rebuttal. So we are not really as unfair as some allege, YB.

YB: Good. And thank you. At least Malaysia Today allows both sides of the story, not like some other opposition newspapers that only report bad things about the government.

MT: Actually Malaysia Today is not a newspaper and neither is it opposition owned. Malaysia Today is a sounding board for Malaysians to express their unhappiness with both the government and the opposition. Anyway, that is not the point, YB. What we want to talk about today is your statement regarding homosexuality being against the law. You quoted the section of the law regarding sodomy. It talks about sodomy, not about homosexuality. That section of the law does not say that homosexuality is a crime. It only says that sodomy is a crime.

YB: It is automatic. If it involves homosexuality then automatically it involves sodomy.

MT: But, YB, that section of the law also makes it a crime for a husband and wife to have anal sex. So heterosexual anal sex also attracts a 20-year jail sentence, even if it is between legally married couples. Why did YB not also stress on this fact: that husbands and wives can also get sent to jail, not just homosexuals?

YB: We are not concerned about married couples and what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms. We are only concerned about what homosexuals do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

MT: But that is beside the point, YB. It is still the law that married couples who indulge in anal sex can be sent to jail for 20 years, until such a time that this law is amended and stipulates that anal sex is a crime only for those who indulge in same-sex relationships.

YB: How can we control what married people do in their bedrooms? It is impossible to monitor what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

MT: Yet the government wants to monitor what non-married people or gay couples do in the privacy of their bedrooms. How are you going to do this?

YB: Well…I….I….

MT: Never mind, YB. Let’s move on. The law says that anal sex is a crime. It does not say that homosexuality is a crime. What happens if two people of the same sex live as husband and wife but they do not indulge in anal sex? How can you arrest and charge them?

YB: How can they live together but not have sex?

MT: They can always indulge in oral sex, YB.

YB: You mean they live together as a married couple and just talk about sex? I don’t believe that.

MT: No, YB, I don’t mean oral sex as in talking about sex. I mean….well, you know YB…..lick, lick, suck, suck.

YB: Oh, that oral sex! Oral sex is also a crime. It is also punishable by 20 years jail, even if between husbands and wives.

MT: Okay, YB, you may be thinking of homosexual relationships as just being between two men. What if the homosexual relationship is between two women? Are you still going to say that it is a crime since there is no sodomy or anal sex involved? And take note, YB, that section of the law you are talking about makes it a crime to indulge in anal sex, not to be a homosexual.

YB: Well, if it is two women, then they probably have oral sex. So that means it is also a crime.

MT: So, it is the sex act that is the crime then. Being homosexual or living as a gay couple is not a crime. Is that right, YB?

YB: Well….yes, that is right.

MT: So, YB, are you going to now issue a statement saying that you made an error and that only anal and oral sex are crimes whereas gay relationships are not a crime according to Malaysian law? And if people live together as gay couples and only kiss, hug, touch, rub against each other, masturbate each other, but as long as there is no anal or oral sex, then the government can’t do anything about it?

YB: Well…I…..I….

MT: Never mind, YB, let’s move on. Let us now talk about non-Muslims, in particular Evangelists, preaching or propagating Christianity to Muslims, which has been an issue of late.

YB: Yes, according the Constitution that is wrong. So the government can take action.

MT: Okay, agreed. According to Article 11(4) of the constitution, it says: “State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.” But what about if that person may have been born a Muslim but he later leaves Islam. That means you are technically no longer propagating to Muslims but to ex-Muslims.

YB: There is no such thing as ex-Muslims. Once you are born a Muslim or you convert to Islam then you are a Muslim forever until the day you die.

MT: But what are the criteria to be a Muslim?

YB: I don’t understand.

MT: Is it not compulsory that you believe in one God, Allah, and accept Muhammad as the last Prophet, the Quran as God’s word, and the belief in the Afterlife, and so on? And if you reject this doctrine then your akidah would be demolished and you would cease to be a Muslim?

YB: Yes, your akidah is important in Islam. If your akidah is defective then you are no longer a Muslim.

MT: So, if a Muslim says he does not believe that Muhammad is the last Prophet or he says he doubts that the Quran is from God but was in fact written by Muhammad’s people then he ceases to be a Muslim since he no longer has akidah.

YB: Yes.

MT: So where is the crime then if the Evangelists preach or propagate Christianity to these people since technically they are not Muslims any longer?

YB: Well….I….I….but still we can’t allow it. They may be ex-Muslims according to Islam but we still regard them as Muslims and will arrest them and send them for religious rehabilitation to try to bring them back to the right path.

MT: So the government regards them as non-Muslims or ex-Muslims but will not allow them to be non-Muslims or ex-Muslims and will arrest them and rehabilitate them and that is why Christians can’t preach to them or propagate Christianity to them?

YB: Yes, that is correct.

MT: Thank you, YB. We hope with this clarification Malaysians can now better understand how the mind of the Malaysian government works.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Who Dares Wins?

See the look on Ambiga's face in the photo below. It was in Malaysiakini: "Police question Ambiga on Seksualiti Merdeka". The look alone says it all.

Police questioned former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan for up to half-an-hour today over her involvment in the Seksualiti Merdeka 2011 programme.

Four officers from Brickfields police station went to Tenaganita’s office in Petaling Jaya at 4.05pm, where Ambiga was present, to take her statement.

The Bersih 2.0 chairperson had been invited to officiate the programme, originally scheduled from Nov 9 to 13.

Present at the office were Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez (above, in red), Maria Chin Abdullah and one of the Seksualiti Merdeka organisers, Pang Khee Teik.

Marina Mahathir, daughter of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was also present in a show of support.

“Have we no shame in this country (to persecute the LGBT community)? Please show some caring for them,” Ambiga (left in photo, with Marina) told the media.

She also urged the mainstream media to report accurately on the issue.

Marina officiated event two years ago

Pang (photo below) said he handed over a letter for Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar after his statement was recorded.

"We're seeking an audience with the IGP to clarify our objectives and to explain that we're not doing what the media claims we are," Pang said.

Marina, in expressing her support for Seksualiti Merdeka, said the festival was aimed at defending fundamental human rights.

"Two years ago I officiated at this event, without any problem. It only seeks to educate the marginalised community about their legal rights," Bernama quoted Marina as saying.

Seksualiti Merdeka is an annual festival celebrating the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, organised by a loose coalition of NGOs, artistes, activists and individuals.

The festival programme includes forums, talks, workshops, book launches, an art exhibition and stage performances.

Meant to educate the LGBT community about its rights, the festival had been organised annually since 2008 without incident until now, its fourth instalment.

To live and love without fear

This year’s theme was to be ‘Queer Without Fear’, to “...highlight how homophobia and transphobia have negatively affected and continue to affect the lives of untold numbers of Malaysians who are discriminated against, and persecuted”, because of their sexual orientations and gender identities.

“It is our firm belief that all Malaysians have the right to live and love without fear,” say the organisers on the event website.

However, due to a sudden uproar against the event whipped up by certain Malay and Islamic NGOs, police banned the event and the organisers have since cancelled the week-long programme.

Arguing that sexual minorities are citizens too and have rights, just as any other Malaysian, Seksualiti Merdeka organisers have, in an earlier statement, said: “The false allegations and ill-intended remarks made to incite hatred against us are completely unjustified.

"They have further marginalised a group of Malaysians who have long suffered severe marginalisation in society."