Religious teacher blames WeChat for LGBT movement in Malaysia and proposes a North Korea-esque approach
By Jonathan Loh
An Islamic religious teacher has called for a near dictatorial level of control by the government over online media access to support the suppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) sentiment among the Malaysian community
Ustaz Hanafiah Abd Malek said in a report by The Malay Mail Online that the Malaysian government should adopt North Korea’s strict control of the internet to handle the LGBT community.
Hanafiah cited examples of North Korea’s online control methods such as stringent monitoring of all websites and blocking off non-approved websites from access.
“This move should be followed by Malaysia in order to control this deviant symptom. Besides Facebook and the likes, the application that is most dangerous in causing this movement to grow strongly is WeChat. Through this medium, this LGBT group starts to connect and expand,” he was quoted as saying by Malay language newspaper Sinar Harian.
“Whether it is the LGBT movement or other troubled teenagers that we found. Most communicate through WeChat. Using the ‘touch & go’ concept, they have sex and illegitimate children are born.”
He added that the LGBT movement is proliferating as members of the community hold on dearly to legal rights. As such, they have challenged state institutions and are pushing to change the country’s Constitution.
Hanafiah noted that this phenomenon is happening both in Malaysia and abroad.
By using alluring slogans like “gay is okay” and “people like us” to entice others, he warned that the LGBT community would demand for their rights once they have a large enough movement.
Despite the seemingly hard-handed measure, Hanafiah assured a soft approach as well.
Hanafiah, who is an advisor and patron of Pertubuhan Amal Firdausi, said the non-governmental organisation offers a platform for members of the LGBT community to change their ways and seek treatment for HIV.
His outreach to the LGBT community alongside the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) has also been well-received.
“Through the slot of ask ustaz held at Lorong Haji Taib, we listen to and delve into problems that arise. The result is they agreed to join programmes and trainings [sic] that are held in the future,” he said.
The outreach programmes have been conducted since 2011.