Malaysia calls gays, tomboys a ‘disorder’

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Picture grab of poster from Malaysian Ministry of Health Website

Malaysia is attempting to subdue the rise in the number of homosexuality, tomboys and transgenderism in the country by organising a video contest.

The contest will offer prizes for videos on how to “prevent” homosexuality and transgenderism, reported the dw.com website.

Homosexuality is banned in the country, and acts of sodomy can result in jail sentences or corporal punishment.

The best video will win up to $1,000 in cash prizes.

The best video must give an idea on how to prevent homosexuality and on “issues and consequences” resulting from certain sexual orientations.

The contest is said to be visible on the Malaysian Health Ministry website.

The Health Ministry has launched a campaign calling on people to assist the government on ideas to help in ‘gender identity disorder’ and to provide “prevention, control and how to get help.”

It cited gay, lesbian and transsexual people, as well as tomboys, as examples of what the ministry calls a “disorder.”

Participants in the competition can also make videos about sex and the internet, or sexual health, with the overall theme of the contest described as being “Value Yourself, Healthy Lifestyle Practice.”

The Malaysian deputy director-general of health, Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, said the contest was to gather views and enhance knowledge among teens on healthy lifestyle practices.

“This creative video competition is purely to tap knowledge and creativity of adolescents on sexual and reproductive health related matters and does not intend to create discrimination to any particular group,” he said in a statement to Reuters news agency.

DW said activists in Malaysia reacted with dismay, saying the move will increase fear among the country’s LGBT community, which they said is already intimidated by increasing intolerance.

Nisha Ayub, Malaysia’s most prominent LGBT activist, said authorities were fueling hatred and discrimination against the community with the competition.

“The ministry needs to revise this and think about their actions,” she said.