According to Malay Mail, deputy foreign minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya responded to the viewpoints of Oscar-winner actor George Clooney, by pointing out that Malaysia does not kill, and will not resort to killing sexual minorities.
Marzuki stated that though such lifestyles deviate from Islam, the government would not impose such a punishment on the group.
“We do not at all support such a thing. So I think, in this matter, we will take a stand as Malaysia, a country that holds on to the principles of constitutional monarchy, with Islam being the official religion. Therefore, things which oppose the norms of religion, we will definitely oppose,” Marzuki continued.
“He should be more aware of what he (Clooney) is saying,” he told reporters after attending Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s breaking fast event on Tuesday, 14 May.
Earlier this month, Clooney made a statement on American talk show Ellen, where he commented that Indonesia and Malaysia were countries considering the death penalty for homosexuality. Technically, Malaysia does not have laws against homosexuality per se but criminalises unnatural sex in its Penal Code.
This was brought up over Clooney’s recent call for a boycott of luxury hotels owned by Brunei because of its plans to impose the death penalty, including by stoning, for gay sex under Islamic laws.
Numan Afifi, president of the LGBT+ advocacy PELANGI Campaign in Malaysia, told Thomson Reuters Foundation, “I call on George Clooney and Hollywood to listen and work together with local activists and human rights defenders on the ground.
Local activists have been putting their lives at risk on the ground working for years. His statement, while well-meaning, might also be counterproductive for our case.” Numan stated.
Malaysia has a long way to go in improving its treatment of the LGBT+ community, perhaps we can start by debunking all the misconceptions of what Malaysian LGBTs are like.
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