LGBT Community In Malaysia

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The LGBT is commonly phrased and labelled as a prohibited taboo in the society of the Peninsular of Malaysia. In the multiracial society with different cultures and ethnic groups, the idea of LGBT and the issue for this matter has manifested into the social stigma for the citizens of the Malaysia because we could not understand the reasons for the following trend that is happening right now. The definition for LGBT is abbreviated from Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders. According to Wikipedia, LGBT is an initialism that stand for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender. In use since 1990s, the term is an adaption of the initialism LGBT which was used to replace the term gay in reference to the LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Homosexuality is a person's sexual, psychological, and emotional interests are mainly of the same sex, regardless of whether such interests are manifested from the appearance of behaviour. Those who develop love, sexuality, or affection with the same sex are called homosexuals. Homosexuality has experienced the development from 'crime' to 'tolerance', which has a certain historical progressive significance. Today, people are beginning to embrace LGBT as part of society, and many countries like Ecuador, Belgium, France accept same-sex marriage, which has a considerable impact on the world's cultural reforms. In any case, as a native Malaysian, we understand our Constitution and abide by it. So, in my position, we are totally opposed to the continued inputting of the people's minds in the LGBT culture. Although we oppose them, we will accept them humanely as human beings.

First and foremost, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has always been capturing the attention of the general public as being an aberration from behavioural norm. They have been vilified by politicians, professionals, religious fundamentalists and some sections of the general public. In short, they have been condemned as misfits and (expected to) be rehabilitated to conform to accepted social and religious norms. Before we proceed further, we need to examine the label LGBT, which has a negative sexual connotation. The term LGBT was recently imported from the West, designating people with sexual orientations and inclinations that run contrary to the norm. Some Western countries glorify these people in the name of sexual freedom that allows for same sex marriages and promiscuity. In fact, these people, who are genetically conditioned to behave as such, have not just appeared from the blue but have existed since time immemorial and accepted by society then, perhaps only discriminated against by the Church. They served in the courts of yore and in various public services. Their behaviour was accepted as a norm and they were not castigated nor ostracised. The transgender community is a talented lot and is very much an integral part of our society. They have contributed to the nation as professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, fashion designers, makeup artists, television personalities, in the culinary field and, in fact, in all walks of life. We need to be humane to this community and not condemn them as nature’s aberrations. After all, they are God’s creatures and have the right to live their lives as they choose within accepted norms and values. As long as, they keep their public image and mannerisms within the bounds of accepted propriety and decorum, they should neither be harassed nor discriminated against. Society needs to be tolerant of their physiological and psychological differences rather than condemn them as social misfits.

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However, in Malaysia, Islam is quite different from the wild lifestyle adopted by the secularism-liberalism system (the separation of culture and politics from religion). According to them, free-sex acts such as lesbianism, gay, bisexual and transgender are allowed because they are human rights and are part of the individual freedom that the country should respect. On the other hand, all this free-sex behaviour is illegal in Islam and Islam does not allow its followers to get caught up in this adultery cycle. Not only that, any illegal act is considered a crime (Al-Jarimah) and it is mandatory to punish. Lesbianism in jurisprudence is called the term as “As-Sahaaq” which defines sexual relations that occur between women. There is no caliphate among the fuqaha that legalized lesbianism is illegal. Among other things, according to the Prophet Muhammad SAW, “Lesbianism is like adultery between women”. Homosexuals are known by the term “liwath”. Hence, penalty for homosexuals is a death sentence. The penalties are adjusted according to the facts. If classified as adultery, then the punishment is to be stoned until death, if the perpetrator is “muhsan” (married). For the unmarried, he or she was beaten a hundred times if she or he is homosexual (LGBT), the sentence is death. Islam forbids homosexual acts according to the hadith that the Prophet SAW condemned men who resembled women and cursed women who resembled men. The penalty is that if it is merely a conversation or dress that resembles the opposite, it should be evicted from the district or village.

Homosexuality is regarded as an act of God’s curse in the Quran and the Old Testament. Islam, Buddhist and Christian strongly opposes these activities because of opposite with human nature. Lay Buddhists (Buddhists who live outside monastery), are expected to follow the Five Precepts (the most superior morality system for Buddhists), the third of which is to “not be involved in sexual wrongdoing”. Though homosexuality has not been directly mentioned in the Pali Canon, which is the collection of scriptures in Theravada Buddhist tradition, most decoders have taken into consideration that homosexuality should be assessed the same as heterosexuality. As for Christians, homosexuality is considered to be a “grave sin” or “contrary to the natural law” and is under any circumstances allowed. Some researchers have even suggested that AIDS is a punishment from God for people who practices homosexuality. Although homosexuality is a sin for Christians, there is not much evidence to where these acts were punished, for over 10 centuries, church leaders were very lenient on gays but by the end of the 12th century, their tolerance began to change. Priests who performed it were either to be defrocked or enter a monastery to perform penance. Normal people were more harshly punished with ex-communication. In the early European Medieval years, homosexuality was also viewed as any other normal sin thus being passed of with light punishments but as time passed, people became bolder to do these unlawful acts that the punishments became more cruel. In France during the 13th century, homosexual acts between resulted in castration (removal of genitals specifically for males), dismemberment of the limbs followed by burning if they do not repent. There are many cases to where these same-sex acts are being punished even in this modern era. For example, two Malaysian ladies were caned 6 times for attempting to have lesbian sex in their car. There is also a similar case in Bandar Aceh, Indonesia where a gay couple were canned more than 80 strokes in front of a crowd in a mosque. Other than that, the country Brunei has also enacted a punishment of death by stoning for people who have been charged for homosexual acts.

Unfortunately, this practice is still considered a human trait for most Protestant churches in the West. Why do all these religions oppose homosexuals and LGBT community? In my opinion, homosexuals can have a detrimental effect on society both mentally and physically. For example, the women’s community feels uncomfortable sharing the toilet with the men that dressed as women. Privacy for women is no longer maintained if we do not prevent this homosexual community from being wider day by day. Furthermore, these free-sex behaviours will also give bad effects and influence the teenagers. The adolescents will be more likely to follow or try to do the same things as the homosexuals did. This will cause the percentage of adultery to increase from time to time if we did not take any prompt actions to prevent this thing from happening even wider.

Thus, parents plays an important role. As the saying by James Baldwin, “Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them,” This shows that how crucial it is for a parent to set a good example to their children. Thus, parents should not only teach their children good moral values, but they must also apply them too. For example, if parents use phone while eating but the child is told not to use, the child will question the parents. Hence, if parents respect the LGBT community as humans so will the children.

“As 50% of LGBT community reports that their parents reject them due to their sexual orientation. In a study of LGBT male teenagers, 27% moved away from home due to conflict between family members over sexual orientation.” (Remafedi, 1987, as cited in “Today’s Gay Youth,” n.d., n.p.)

It appears that, societies are filled with people who are against LGBT, but we should not forget the fact that they are humans too. This habit of making people feel inferior about themselves will eventually lead them to mental issues such as depression and mental breakdown. This clearly shows that, LGBT community have lack of support and understanding from their parents which cause them to take in whatever the society says about them. Thus, to avoid that, parents should be more supportive so that they can gain the child’s trust for their child to share things easily. As most of us know a LGBT person, is scared and nervous to share their feelings about being different from others. Hence, if they have the supports of their parents, they will be more confident and outspoken about their feelings.

“Ms. Cooper said, the school convinced her that she should let her soon go but no child should face this whether he or she is from the LGBT community. When bullying becomes the serious matter where the kid wants to leave school and give up their future, something has to be done.” (Browman, 2001, p. 3)

Above is a proof where the child is having the support of the parents but not the school. So as a school, they must teach the students about this community and teach them about the Malaysian Syariah law which clearly shows that how this matter contradicts with the Malaysian law. Although, Syariah law does not accept the LGBT community yet LGBT people should not feel bad about this issue as human rights under Federal Constitution help them to gain their rights as a human being. By doing so, the school is not only educating the students, but it might as well educate the teacher or others regarding this matter as it spreads faster. For example, a five-year-old tells everything to the parents about what he or she has learnt in school. Furthermore, the counselling centre in school should counsel the students who are being harassed, bullied or even cat-called and let them know that “it’s okay to be different”. Thus, it is important to realize that the acceptance process of the LGBT community as a human takes time and it not only involves the family and school but also the society.

To sum it all up, LGBT has always been a subject of great controversy. This case study can be explained by understanding that all human beings are not alike. They have their own views towards culture and lifestyle. We may disagree with their culture, but we agree that they have a right to practice all humanly rights as they are people with feelings and emotions too. Many well-meaning people will sagely tell you that we are all unique, that we have our own peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. This makes you believe that no two people are alike just like no two snowflakes are alike. Hence, we humans are born with some hard-wired behaviours that are mainly caused by the influences of our surrounding environment. These are the default settings that we are all born with. So basically, no individual is born a clean slate. Even though we are hard-wired to behave in ways that ensure our survival and growth, the believes that influences these individuals can be so powerful that they can override our most primitive evolutionary programming. To conclude our thesis, as humans, we are all born the same way and therefore deserve the same rights and acceptance as long as we follow the laws and comply with the norms set to protect all individuals.

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LGBT Community In Malaysia. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/lgbt-community-in-malaysia/
“LGBT Community In Malaysia.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/lgbt-community-in-malaysia/
LGBT Community In Malaysia. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/lgbt-community-in-malaysia/> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
LGBT Community In Malaysia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/lgbt-community-in-malaysia/
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