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24 May 2010

Gay massage, fitness centres in Penang, Kuala Lumpur raided [Video added]

Days before the raid, TV3's 999 programme showed a 7-minute clip of a reporter going undercover with a concealed camera in a gay massage centre and a raid on an establishment in Cheras where the authorities stormed occupied private rooms.

Images are screen captures of a raid of a gay venue shown by TV3. The raids appear to involve the police and the the Federal Territory Religious Department's (JAWI).

Malaysia’s state-run news agency Bernama reported on Saturday that a gay fitness centre at a shopping mall in Pulau Tikus, Penang wasraided by police on Friday night.

Seven men - a caretaker and six workers - aged between 20 and 30 were arrested. The report quoted Penang CID Chief SAC II Wan Abdullah Tunku Said as saying that police also seized three towels, massage oil, tissue boxes and a tube of lubrication jelly believed to be used during gay activities.

The Star also reported that the men would be investigated for committing acts of gross indecency under Section 377D of the Penal Code.

He added that the venue did not have a business licence and had been raided three times before in five months this year and 10 times last year.

The same weekend, the police raided two massage centres in Kuala Lumpur. The Star quoted the Malay-language tabloid Harian Metro as saying that the walls of the centres were plastered with pictures of male masseurs available to serve male clients.

According to The Star, 25 male clients were detained during the raid at the two centres which were equipped with closed-circuit television at the main entrance where clients were only admitted into the centres after giving a password.

Last Thursday, TV3’s 999 programme showed a 7-minute clip of a reporter going undercover with a concealed camera in a gay massage centre and a raid on an establishment in Cheras where the authorities stormed occupied private rooms.


Reader's Comments

1. 2010-05-24 19:04  
i want to go and visit mayaysia and im horified that a developed country can not accept that there are gay guys all over the world and we need to have some protection and equal rights and some venue where we can get together and socalise
Comment #2 was deleted by its author on 2010-05-24 19:53
3. 2010-05-24 19:56  
It all depends what you mean by "developed" country, my friend (comment 1). Malaysia is developed economically, no doubt about that, but spiritually it's medieval. I'm talking about the mainstream population and the government (both central and local) of course - there are many exceptions (among them my dear Malaysian friends) and if they don't want to have a hard time surviving, what they do is develop a double personality, double-faced behaviour, a form of self-inflicted schizophrenia if you will, which is what gays have been doing throughout most of the history of mankind, let's face it.

Now if you think about it, the same thing could be said about most countries including those referred to as the West, at the head of which is the US where "christian" (I insist on the quotation marks) fanaticism drives most of the southern states into bigotry, intolerance, self-righteousness, hatred and abuse of all sorts.

There recently was an article here on fridae about two guys in Malawi (South of Africa) who were sentenced to 14 years in jail for trying to organize a kind of marriage ceremony. I wrote two comments, the second one somewhat ironic about how "religion" could support such a barbaric sentence (which is precisely what the church in Malawi did)... and for the first time since I joined fridae and wrote comments on its articles, I received a hate mail. A real hate mail. From a man who is gay and a devout christian of whatever obedience (he didn't bother to tell me) and who obviously can't read anything that even slightly questions his religious masters without going nuts and extremely nasty. That's what his masters want actually - it's called manipulation -, and that's what religion does to people, to nations, to mankind.

Or maybe it's what people, nations and mankind do to religions... I would prefer it that way because it would imply that those religions are fundamentally and initially good even though their seeds keep falling on rotten soil...
Comment edited on 2010-05-24 20:19:04
4. 2010-05-24 20:46  
the police need something like this to make them look good ... truly, what have they accomplished over the years ? ... besides randomly shooting people who does not stop during traffic inspections ?

not likely to vote for the current government and administration, in fact, will support whatever there is out there that isnt BN.

5. 2010-05-24 22:26  
Glad that i dont live in that draconian country
6. 2010-05-24 23:55  
It should be a changed of government in next election.
7. 2010-05-25 01:37  
Do a change of government can help in this issue? The opposition party do not show any stand /commitment to this.I think it's the same whether any party win in the next election when regards homosexual issues.

As long there is the Penal Code in our law, against homosexual, as long the public mind still influenced by historic British colonization ruling, largely homophobic, lack of respect and understanding when concern of sexuality diversity, they will keep report and complain to authority. As long homosexual is criminalized in this country, there will be raids to gay places in coming days. This will never end. Police will still conduct "Ops" (operation). part 1,2 ,3 and so on, to gay places. esp if triggered by local Media.

There is no 1Malaysia when this issues concerned. Minority based sexual diversity is excluded.
8. 2010-05-25 05:15  
agreed with jon_guy1....his point is like so DUH...i'm more scared now, to go out to enjoy myself at discos and bars,since this had happened.but however, i heard that the cops are paid(bribed) to not raid some clubs and bars...

this shows that those bastard cops are really corrupted.(well,not a surprise in Malay-corrupt-sia)sorry for being unpatriotic but Malaysia is doomed in the sense of LGBT rights, and this triggered me even more to leave and say Gaga Goodbye Lady Gay Gay Malaysia...(hope i don't get any hate mail like poster #3...gosh! who would hate such hunky daddy? XP)
Comment edited on 2010-05-25 05:18:49
9. 2010-05-25 05:52  
all thanks to TV3, Kosmo, Metro, and other tabloid media... there other important issues to be reported, yet, they prefer to spoon-feed the masses with this kind of stories =_=
10. 2010-05-25 06:17  
to my surprise...a privately owned(or perhaps semi-governmental?) media broadcast company like TV3 would go on with this gay bashing spree. wouldn't be a surprise if it is done by TV1 or 2...

shows how desperate they are to bring "sensationalized" news on screen to gain viewing popularity...

so malulah sassysetsuna(meioh? sailor pluto?)
Comment edited on 2010-05-25 06:19:42
11. 2010-05-25 09:30  
jon_guy1, at least there is a change in Penang. Now, after 53 years , did Malaysians give a chance to the opposition ? Never.

The change in Penang and Selangor is marked.

The Mak Nyak in Penang is getting better known now by the DAP chap http://malaysiakusayang.blogspot.com
12. 2010-05-25 10:45  
#5, I hate to point this out to you, but Singapore is just as draconian. Last time I checked, gay sex was very much illegal there, too. I agree, Malaysia is almost hopelessly backwards (in many respects), and having lived here for nearly two years, I've seen a lot of it on display, but do think before you post such rubbish.
13. 2010-05-25 12:07  

in singapore it is against the law but at the same time they tend to live and let live.they do not bother or raid places unless there is evidence of drugs or other activities.in malaysia,media n police are bent stirring up things w/o any reason.whereas in singapore,they dont report on tv about things that are done behind closed door and in private.

just my view.
14. 2010-05-25 12:14  
soooo after they are done with penang's raids , now they are making their way to gay central in tmn miharja =.= and i think i saw Fresh massage centre being raided in the video =\ ... they have quite lotsa eye candies there... sad. The only good thing that i can get from this issue above is that the media portrayed gay ppl doing safe sex!!! garghhh -enrage- anyhow, what is JAWI's part in this anyway?

The police should deal with problems such as this > http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2010%2F5%2F25%2Fstarprobe%2F6332643

but well police in Malaysia are a bunch of pussies, prey on the ones need to be protected while keep an eye shut for the chaotic groupies... that mentioned, reminded me of the few current police shootings on civilians... a mother(wounded with 5 shots) and a 15 yr old kid(dead)
15. 2010-05-25 13:04  
#3 exactly correct, religion is a great evil on earth. And any gay religious freak want to send me hate mail, I welcome it...and the chance to have fridae delete your account (I hope post #3 did this)
16. 2010-05-25 13:23  
It's so sad to see these kind of news being popular and policemen are so efficient in handling it. How it reminds me of those aunts that are so interested in their neighbour's lifestyle.

Greed in power and laziness to think are the two components for the rationalisation of religion. Just and wise people don't need religion.
17. 2010-05-25 14:44  
Huh? TV3 into such low level news scrape? Geez, advertising revenue must be at an all time low. Singapore, Malaysia, Africa...etc...bloody disgrace!

#3, Care to show the content of the hate mail you received. No need to say whom it's from if you dun want to. Just wondering why a so called "devout x-tian" would visit Fridae and post hate mail. :P
18. 2010-05-25 15:31  
I wonder what's next after this...
19. 2010-05-25 15:31  
I wonder what's next after this...
20. 2010-05-25 16:57  
Gee, and I thought Sydney press were bad. at least we have moved on from police raids, but not by mutch.
21. 2010-05-25 16:58  
what's a gay fitness center anyway?

NYC and San Fran already closed most bathhouses since 2008... so passe this topic is.. arrest the owners, not the patrons, its just a money scam anyway

whatever happened to great gay romance and the art of the chase and using conversation and wit to get someone into the sack?

not into fast food sex at all, so yucky and non of my gay friends are either

oh well in other important news today, American teenagers are getting bigger sized free Trojans!

gosh, we love the name brand condoms!! so cool:)

High school students and college-age adults have been complaining to District officials that the free condoms the city has been offering are not of good enough quality and are too small and that getting them from school nurses is "just like asking grandma or auntie."

So D.C. officials have decided to stock up on Trojan condoms, including the company's super-size Magnum variety, and they have begun to authorize teachers or counselors, preferably male, to distribute condoms to students if the teachers complete a 30-minute online training course called "WrapMC" -- for Master of Condoms.

22. 2010-05-25 18:35  
Edsmale (post #15) when you "sum up my thoughts" by saying that religion is a great evil on earth, I'm afraid you're going a bit fast, but thanks for the support anyway. I wasn't quite so radical if you care to read in detail what i wrote :-)

The reason is I believe that there are in fact mostly good points in the teachings of the individuals who initiated all the great religions. However the gap between their ACTUAL teaching and the religion supposedly based on it is abyssal.

There is evil in this world, that's for sure. It seems to be deeply ingrained in human beings, and has this amazing talent for turning gold into lead with a flourish. That's what happened to the teachings of Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Confucius, Lao Tse, Gandhi, and many others who tried to show human beings how to suffer less, fear less, hate less and understand more. Their "faithful" followers will take the matter into their hands real fast and all too often end up doing the exact opposite, thus actually helping the devil, directly or indirectly, but always in the name of the prophet ... brrr....

If they were to magically come back all of a sudden, the said prophets who are at the source of every great religion would probably be the first to fight head on the institutions which have since then confiscated their teachings and turned them into instruments of power, manipulation and more than often, death. Fighting the established religion of his time was exactly what Christ did, by the way, and it cost him his life.

To illustrate this, it is interesting to see the huge difference between the 4 Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul. They clearly show how a rather mystical and esoterical teaching can quickly turn into a doctrine (to its followers it becomes "The Truth" rather than a "Way") and all with the best intentions in the world of course.

This is why I do not need to publish the hate mail i received and certainly not give the guy's ID or report him to Fridae. He's not worth the trouble, since he's just another indoctrinated zealot and as such I pity him but I certainly don't hate him. I have no reason to be hurt by his attitude, because it's a mechanical reaction on his part, and it's absurd to hate the drill of the dentist even if it causes a momentary pain in your jaw.
23. 2010-05-25 21:54  
can i let u know...the presenter for tv3 series call 999 is "bisexual"?

the problem in malaysia is....the reporter n tv presenter who r bring this gay issue in malaysian media is actually gay & bisexual

they r hypocrite....at least...we know...the anwar told AFP long time ago...that sex between male 2 male is consider ur private life...n that law must be change or deleted

p/s : i saw that article from axcest.com 3 years ago
24. 2010-05-25 22:19  
Malaysia government should start working the crime rate and not bullying PLUs! We are peaceful ppl. I'm glad that I've given up my M'sia citizenship.
25. 2010-05-25 22:29  
I was going to visit a friend in Malaysia then read the travel warning for that country which specified that gay sex was illegal and penalties were corporal punishment and or long jail sentences.

Not wishing to take that risk I did not go.

I feel sorry for gay people in Malaysia its a terrible law I hope that they can somehow bring about political change to change the law.
Comment #26 was deleted by its author on 2010-05-26 00:44
27. 2010-05-26 00:46  
This is so horrible to see happening in Malaysia.
The media and the police are just picking on a minority group. It makes the majority feel safe because it looks like the law is working. It might be working but it is wasting its resources on victim-less crime. It is like having a train that runs smoothly but doesn't take anyone anywhere useful.
Malaysia and Malawi, are they two similar countries. Both are post-colonial and practise imported religions that dabble in imaginary real estate and earthly politics.
28. 2010-05-26 00:47  
I will not be going there!
29. 2010-05-26 00:56  
We have seen all this before in Australia. Usually the police acted as though they had the moral high ground. The truth was probably that they were corrupt, lazy and stupid and not really bothering about real crime in the country. They picked on gays, transvestites and other minorities.
Is there a heroin trade in Malaysia? I bet there is. How is is able to flourish. Who turns a blind eye? What are they doing instead of chasing the heroin kingpins. Persecuting minorities.
Thankfully Australia has moved on a little since then, but only a little
30. 2010-05-26 04:55  
Then again. isn't operating without license illegal for all forms of business? Kinda of strange how they can raid over a dozen times and the business still manages to carry on...

Prostitution isn't exactly a glamorous thing to do, straight or gay, so I stand neutral to this. It's not helping that students are working there for their school fees or allowance. Probably something more constructive the government should do to help these people.

It would have been another story if the police raided a licensed gay outlet doing an honest business. A direct discrimination against LGBT community.
Comment edited on 2010-05-26 04:58:07
31. 2010-05-26 12:47  
the fact that malaysia is just neighbouring country to singapore, freaks me out. i feel really bad for the LGBT people there, and i am urging them to hold on, save money and just migrate elsewhere, PLEASE. This is one of the many countries which criminalise gay communities and sees them as outlaws. to me, they still carry that conversative mindset and it will take a miracle to change their perception.

like, doesnt the police like, have anything better to do? stop harassing our fellow brothers and sisters there lah please.
32. 2010-05-26 16:39  
#12, thanks for speaking up for the malaysian. the response from the singaporean guy is quite typical. i have to agree with him that it's not easy to live in this "draconian" country, and that maybe in many ways, singaporean gay guys do enjoy a bit more freedom and less troubles than malaysian.

however, i believe instead of making fun or rude comments, we should be more sympathetic and perhaps more supportive toward the more unfortunate ones.

i hope the younger generation of the singaprean do realize that, we are depending on each other. there's really no need to make hostile comments, and keep measuring their success (largely economically) by comparing to their poorer and less developed neighbour, malaysia.

as the X MEN say, united we stand.

btw, quite contradicting to the media's portrait, i think most gay guys here do not live in fear. we club and date and fall in love, just like those in singapore and bangkok.
33. 2010-05-26 20:15  
I wonder what is PT Foundation stand on this matter
34. 2010-05-26 21:18  
#13, my point was along the lines of "those in glass houses shouldn't cast stones." Your response is well-taken though, and I'm sure gay men in Singapore DO enjoy a bit less fearful existence than our friends here in Malaysia, but I can assure you that, for the vast majority of the time, at least here in KL, that same "live and let live" approach is practiced. I've been to gay clubs here, and while they do admittedly kind of suck, they don't suck because of the looming specter of an impending police raid.

It's very easy to judge other countries, though, isn't it? Any gay Malaysian could read the recent article about what happened recently in Malawi and think, "Well I'm glad I don't live in THAT cesspool of a country where two men are sentenced to 14 years of hard labor just for publicly declaring their love for each other!"

A Singaporean might (and actually did) look at Malaysia and state, "So glad I don't live in that draconian country where they're still raiding gay establishments."

An American may look at Singapore and think, "Well, thank god I don't live in that stupid little country where having sex with another man is actually ILLEGAL. Wow. Can you get caned for that?"

Then a Belgian or a Canadian could very well say, "Wow, I'm so glad I don't live in the uptight, puritanical United States where gays can't get married in 46 of the 50 states, and even in the states where they can marry, they still get no federal recognition or benefits."

And around and around it goes... like #32 mentioned, it's much more helpful and empowering for gays if we actually support each other instead of basically adopting that "sucks to be you" approach that #5 did.

I know that Singaporeans are conditioned from birth to believe that they're superior to everyone (kind of like us Americans are -- and wrongly so, I might add) -- but every nation has its shortcomings. Except for maybe Norway. They seem to have a lot on the ball, don't they? :P

So for any of you guys living on the Little Red Dot who think you've got it so good down there as a gay man, please take me out on a night of gay clubbing on my next business trip there. I would love to see how it stacks up to the gay nightlife and dollar vodka nights and trashy gay stripper bars back home in the States. Then we can talk about how progressive and open-minded Singapore REALLY is... or isn't. :)
Comment edited on 2010-05-26 21:22:13
35. 2010-05-26 22:46  
chadm252..im totally agree with ur comments....superb !!!
36. 2010-05-27 00:32  
Though TV3 is a privately owned station, the actual ownership is linked to the political party currently managing the central government.

This story is to remind people of the court case going on against the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of his second sodomy charge.

In the criminal history of Malaysia, the penal code of of men-to-men anal sex (which thanks to the Bristish law where we inherited) was hardly invoked until the super drama unfolds 12 years ago by the "Maverick" Dr. M to discredit his ex-deputy (Prime Minister) at that play.

Admittedly at times there were raids on gay outlets (more sexual activities related) in the country but hardly on gay drinking bars etc. Police usually will not disturb what is between 2 men in the room in private.

May I just add some local political perspective here.
37. 2010-05-27 09:17  
Again I wish to ask Malaysian gays to consider leaving the country if you have a chance. The police doesn't tolerate even these discreet businesses that do not interfere with the rest in the society. If you have a chance to leave, just make a quiet exit to a place where you can enjoy more freedom since you may not be spared even if you visit such gay venues discreetly. These policemen would rather spend their time on such moral policing than fighting robbery, rapes and burglary. If they thought that the country would prosper better this way, then you should rethink whether you should devote yourselves to it.
38. 2010-05-27 10:08  
On the contrary #37, rights are not gained when people just "leave" quietly. My personal opinion is that many of Malaysia's problems stem from a complacent citizenry. They just don't care much about anything and almost always take the path of least resistance, even if that means paying off a cop for no reason at a roadblock or not questioning the blatant racism inherent in the New Economic Policy, or even just tolerating poor service rather than complaining to get things improved. When Malaysians stand up and push back against the country's deeply-ingrained "tidak apa" status quo, good things tend to happen.

Social change is slow, arduous, and oftentimes contentious. Bowing down and acceding to the establishment over and over again serves no one, least of all the trod-upon minority. As history has repeatedly shown us, change will only take place when people stand up for themselves and demand equal rights.
39. 2010-05-27 23:21  
God help Malaysia.
40. 2010-05-27 23:41  
#38: It depends on what's more important to you: is it to live freely or to insist that
1) a country whose constitution states that its national faith is Muslim,
2) a legal system incorporating Muslim courts,
3) a society with the majority being Muslims, straight and conservative,
4) both secular and Muslim courts have anti-gay laws
5) (most importantly), just a spot on Earth
should listen to an insignificant minority.

41. 2010-05-28 08:26  
#40 could you rephrase your comment in a way that is grammatically understandable ? Your points are important, I believe, that's why it would be nice if you could make sure to phrase them clearly. Thanks!
42. 2010-05-30 18:34  
we should all know the police in Malaysia are predominantly corrupt.
43. 2010-05-31 23:41  
sick! so this is how they get their promotion....
44. 2010-06-03 14:20  
PT Foundation is concerned to see the increase in the number of raids on the venues where we carry out our HIV prevention work.

In raiding these businesses the authorities involved are negatively impacting the public health programmes we run at PT Foundation.

The communities most affected by HIV in Malaysia are already very marginalized and this activity will drive them further underground thus making our work more difficult and HIV prevention harder to achieve.

It is unfortunate that the police had tipped off the local media to intentionally seek maximum publicity on the raids conducted. The media hype further deters operators of such premises from taking part in harm reduction programmes with PT Foundation.

PT Foundation will continue to work with the Malaysian AIDS Council on the following steps to support our HIV prevention programmes:

* Document all cases to ensure an accurate record of these activities is captured
* Dialogue with the authorizes involved to highlight the HIV prevention and public health issues involved
* Meeting with specific media owners to dialogue and educate them on the impact of their reporting
* Workshop for the business owners to build their capacity on how to ensure our HIV prevention programmes can continue to run in their venues.
45. 2010-06-03 15:57  
thank God for there are organizations such as PT Foundation...

btw, is it safe for me to go to the QAF sessions and any other program(s) that is from PT? will there be raids? or no?
46. 2010-06-04 10:27  
There will be no raids conducted at events such as our QAF (Queer as Films movie screenings). This is because it is a private event and you have to email us to be put on the guest list.

For those of you interested, check out PT Foundation's Fridae page and add us! There is information about everything PT does in KL and the Klang Valley in Malaysia, including events conducted.
47. 2013-11-07 23:38  
Massage centers are earning huge revenue from their services. They have become popular among the young people. I have come to know about the latest massage therapy. Recently i have seen a Snake Massage Center in Thailand. The service providers put snakes on your face, and they do your massage. It is really an amazing service provided in Thailand and several other countries. But it is just an exclusive form of massage.
48. 2013-11-07 23:41  

Another massage center article covering the snake massage.

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