“We need to stand up against injustice”: LGBT activists decry over gay couple assault in Malaysia

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists strongly call for a “need to stand up against injustice” over the viral video of two men assaulted for engaging sex inside a car.

Photo: facebook/LGBT Community

Numan Afifi Saadan, leader of the Local LGBT rights group PELANGI Campaign, shared the video condemning what had happened to these two unidentified men in an undetermined location of the incident. He tweeted out his deep concern:

 

“This is outrageous! I categorically condemn this anti-gay violence and call on the authority to investigate on this hate crime. Enough is enough… If anyone knew the victims, please let them know that we’re here to give support. We need to stand up against injustice.”

Photo: Screengrab from  YouTube

The viral video, which was circulated around the Internet including Facebook and was shared at least 1,200 times and viewed over 88,000 times, also brought attention to human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen who also condemned the criminal offense, a hate crime, that the couple went through.

 

In his statement: “This is a shocking assault on two men for no other reason than their apparent sexual orientation. This is clearly an aggravated criminal offense, a hate crime being perpetrated by a group of men.”

 

In the eyes of the law, everyone is equal regardless of one’s sexual orientation. Paulsen also urged the authorities to look into this violence and to arrest the suspects as this is a serious matter and that Malaysians should never resort to violence for no compelling reason.

 

The almost 2 minute video shows a group of men angrily confronting the shirtless couple who are inside a car. Strong language of curses in Bahasa Malaysia is also heard in the background. The couple then was ordered to get out of the car. And that’s the time the assailants hit them for “committing a sin”. One of them also said: “Did you forget God? It’s a shame!”

 

“Enough is enough.” This is what Paulsen said, as there are already many reported cases of anti-gay violence. Last August in the conservative state of Terengganu, two women like in the case of the gay couple who were also caught attempting to have sex in the car, were sentenced to be caned under Islamic sharia law. There was also a raid on a gay bar in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur.

 

Another violence was reported in Seremban, a town south of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur months ago. The victim was a transgender woman, Suki, who was beaten up by eight men with sticks and plastic pipes. She was able to sustain with suffered broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, and head injuries.

Photo: Screengrab from  YouTube

The continuing violence and discriminations spark worries, fears, and anxiety to the LGBT community in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

 

Malaysia deploys officers under the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) authorized to carry out raids against “immoral” activities.

 

With regards to the people who assaulted the two young men, it still needs to be determined if they are members of JAWI.