Malaysia stands under heavy influence of Islam and homosexuality is technically illegal. LGBT Malaysians are often seen as immoral and treated as deviants and criminals. There is a national gay organization, however with little support.

Criminal Code Edit

Section 377 of the penal code prohibits heterosexual and homosexual sodomy with punishments including up to twenty years in prison and or fines and whippings. Section 337a more narrowly prohibits acts of "gross indecency with another male person" with punishment including up to two years in prison.[1] Cross-dressing in public is also a crime under vague laws against public immorality.

For example, in 1998, Forty-five Muslim transvestites were charged and convicted in court for dressing as women, and twenty-three more transgender persons faced similar fines and imprisonment in 1999.[2]

State legislators are permitted to enact state laws. In 1993 the Malaysia State of Kelantan adopted Islamic law and thus the punishment for sodomy in that state is death. In 2002, the State of Terengganu adopted a similar legal system.[3]

Vigilante Groups Edit

In 1995, the State of Selangor Religious Affairs Minister praised the Islamic Badar vigilante groups who had organized in 1994 to assist in the arrest of 7,000 for engaging in "un-Islamic" activities such as homosexuality.[2]

Civil Rights Edit

No laws exist to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been estimated that a large number of transgender persons are forced to work on the streets as commercial sex workers to earn a living.

In the early 1990s, the group called "Pink Triangle Malaysia" was organized to "providing HIV/AIDS education, prevention, care and support programs, sexuality awareness and empowerment programmes for vulnerable communities in Malaysia". "PT Malaysia", is one of several organizations in the nation that do not lobby for LGBT rights, but instead focus on social networks and HIV/AIDS education; i.e. the "LPG" (founded in 1998), and the "Pelangi Community Foundation".

In 1994, the government banned anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender from appearing on the state controlled media.[4]

The "People's Anti-Homosexual Voluntary Movement", was created in 1998 to lobby for stricter criminal laws against homosexuality, and is a member of the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO).[5]

In 2001 the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that the country will deport any visiting foreign cabinet ministers, or diplomat who is gay.[6]

In 2005 the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor stated that the Navy would never accept homosexuals.[7]

Political Party Views Edit

As of 2007, none of the major or minor political parties have endorsed or spoken against gay rights in their party's manifesto or platform.

Anwar Ibrahim Edit

In 1998 the reformer named Anwar Ibrahim was charged with, among other political crimes, homosexual sodomy. In 2000, he was sentenced to nine years for engaging in sodomy with his 19-year-old male chauffeur and his former male speech writer. Despite national and international protests, he was not released until he had served out four years of his sentence, in 2004, when the Federal Court of Malaysia acquitted him of all charges.[8]

After his release, Anwar stated that he felt that the national criminal laws against homosexuality ought to be reformed to protect consenting adult's right to have a private life, although he also stated that gay marriage, "is going a bit too far".[9]

In 2007, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad responded to a civil lawsuit filed by Anwar by stating that a homosexual should not hold public office in Malaysia and that he knew Anwar was a homosexual because Anwar's male chauffeur and a male speech writer both stated in court that they had had sexual relations with Anwar.[10]

Marriage & Family Edit

As homosexuality is a crime, Malaysia does not recognize gay marriage, civil unions or domestic partnership benefits.


Since the first official case of AIDS appeared in the nation, 1985, the AIDS-HIV pandemic is often dismissed as a problem only for "immoral" people; i.e. homosexuals and transgender persons. However, the government has been under more pressure to promote education and prevention campaigns as some experts have suggested that the number of Malaysians infected with HIV could go as high as 300,000 by the year 2015.[11]

In 2006, the government launched a new comprehensive public campaign that includes therapy and needle exchange programs for drug addicts, and free medications provided at government clinics.[11] However, the public discussion of sexuality remains a taboo topic. In 2007, the Malaysia's Ministry of Health was banned from supporting the usage of condoms to prevent the spread of the disease out of a concern that such a campaign would be equated with a government endorsement of sexual conduct outside of a legal marriage.[12]

References Edit

  2. 2.0 2.1
  10. Former PM says gays should not rule mostly Muslim Malaysia | News |
  11. 11.0 11.1 HIV infections in Malaysia could surge to 300,000 by 2015, official warns - International Herald Tribune
  12. HIV/AIDS | Malaysia Health Ministry Cannot Promote Condom Use To Prevent Spread of HIV, Official Says -

External links Edit

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at LGBT rights in Malaysia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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