Kuala Lumpur: The unofficial mouthpiece of the ruling party in Malaysia says there is a visible increase in LGBT people taking part in public rallies and if not checked would result in common scenes of nude parades and same-sex individuals kissing publicly.
The ruling UMNO or United Malays National Organisation-owned Utusan Malaysia daily came to this conclusion after analyzing that many of the thousands who turned up to protest the Goods and Services Tax in the capital on May 1 were lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“LGBT activists are certainly intensifying efforts demanding for many things, including the rights to march, as it is done in many Western countries,” Awang Selamat wrote in the paper’s weekend edition adding that the LGBT community is now becoming “bolder.”
Awang is a pseudonym used to represent the collective voice of the newspaper’s editors.
“Imagine nude parades and individuals of the same-sex kissing in front of Dataran Merdeka,” it added in its brief analysis.
The Dataran Merdeka has historic significance for Malaysia for it was here that the British flag was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time on August 31, 1957, Malaysia’s independence day.
Utusan Malaysia’s credibility as a newspaper is often questioned for its blatant practice of often manipulating or fabricating news to suite the UMNO agenda.
UMNO is Malaysia’s largest political party that has ruled the country uninterruptedly since independence.
The party espouses to protect Malay culture as the national culture and to uphold, defend and expand Islam.
It rigidly opposed to equality rights and upholds “Section 377A” a British colonial-era law banning same-sex relations and making it punishable by public flogging and up to 20 years in jail.
UMNO uses this law to silence not only the LGBT community but also political opponents. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was recently prosecuted and convicted for the second time in his political career under this “sodomy” law.
The annual May Day rally against the Goods and Services Tax was reportedly peaceful but police say they are investigating organizers for violating several conditions of the Peaceful Assembly Act.
The goods and services tax in Malaysia is a value added tax whose purpose is to replace the sales and service tax used in the country for several decades. Opponents say the tax, which was first tabled in parliament in 2009 and is to be introduced next year, is regressive and will end up hurting the poor.