The Pahang Islamic Religious Department (JAIP) said it will follow the footsteps of Terengganu and discuss the possibility of imposing whipping sentence as a means to curb against LGBT activities in the state.
Pahang is the state of ex-PM Najib Razak, where the Umno is in power. Some Umno leaders have stated they want a curb on the rise of LGBT activities and claims of equal rights since the Pakatan Harapan regime took power.
‘We support (the caning sentence) as it shows the beauty of Islam but in Pahang, we have not decided yet and will look into it,’ JAIP director Datuk Mohamad Noor Abdul Rani told media.
This has sent jitters through pro-LGBT voices in Malaysia where stories of transvestites getting beaten as a sign of an increase in a lack of tolerance towards this community.
Gay and lesbian websites across the world have joined the cohorts of international media that have criticised or strongly condemned the caning of two Malay-Muslim women in Terengganu this week.
Adding to the voice of the pro-LGBT is an assembly man in Pahang. Chiong Yoke Kong, the assemblyperson for Tanah Rata and DAP Youth national political education director, spoke about the Pahang state’s JAIP’s plans.
“While I respect the principles and stance in Islam towards the LGBTs, I must also stress that introducing outdated laws to punish and humiliate LGBT minorities is not in line with the Islamic principles of fairness and justice.
“Although it is stated in Islamic teachings that Muslims have to abandon homosexual relationships and sexual practices, there is no record throughout the history of Islam that Prophet Muhammad had ever punished LGBT minorities. Therefore, implementing harsh laws against them goes against the prophet’s wishes to educate the people.”
The LGBT community in Malaysia is one of the most marginalised and vulnerable minority groups that is facing discrimination and unjust treatment in terms of legal system, education, workplace, family, religion, medical service, psychological health, media, social service and many other aspects.
To impose humiliating public canning on LGBT persons is, therefore, unfair.
He wrote the comments on Malaysiakini, addressing it to the state exco run by the Barisan Nasional.
Malaysia’s Syariah Court is one of two separate court systems in Malaysia.
Syariah Courts have limited scope in the sentences it can hand out. They can pass sentences of jail terms up to three years, fines up to RM5,000 (US$1,206), and/or up to six cane lashes.
But another Pahang state official, Shahaniza Shamsuddin said the state’s punishment of LGBTI people should not be cruel.