20 Jul 2012

Malaysian LGBTs should vote wisely in upcoming elections

Hafidz Baharom, an openly gay social commentator in Malaysia, says anti-gay bashing by Malaysian politicians will likely continue as they battle for votes from the Malaysian Malay majority which makes up roughly 60 percent of the population.

Related story: "LGBTs, pluralism, liberalism – all these 'isms' are against Islam and it is compulsory for us to fight these," declared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Thursday, according to independent news website, The Malaysian Insider. He was speaking at an event comprising 11,000 Islamic religious leaders and mosque committee members from around Malaysia. -- Malaysia PM: LGBTs, liberalism, pluralism are enemies of Islam

Ahmad Hafidz Baharom Alam Shah, an openly gay social commentator in Malaysia, was asked by Fridae to share his insights and thoughts about the spate of anti-gay bashing by Malaysian politicans:

This is all political, since it is a well known fact that no party wants to advocate or even discuss LGBT rights until after the next Malaysian General Election due to be called at any moment as the current government's mandate ends in March 2013. Till then, expect the bashing to continue as politicians from both sides try to win votes from the Malaysian Malay majority, which is roughly 60 percent of the population. 

At this point in time, I would ask local LGBTs to be patient and read between the lines. On one hand you have both parties bashing the community, but on another, there is one working to abolish the laws which is labelled as archaic and used merely to tarnish a certain politician's image. 

Malaysians in general are not ready to openly support LGBT rights, speak up for it, let alone to be pro-LGBT on a political platform. We're not there yet. 

I do have hope that Malaysians are not so easily fooled to see this as an advocacy or encouragement to be violent against members of the LGBT community. But there is a chance that people could misread these statements as such. 

What can Malaysians can do: Register to vote and vote wisely

I know some atheists would be pissed off with this answer, but prayers, thoughts and wishes from those overseas made public, as well as moves to pressure our local leaders to consider LGBT rights is good enough. Talk about us, write about us, and pray for us.

As for locals who wish to support us, if you're over 21, please register to vote

One side now wants to maintain the status quo of which sodomy is a federal crime while another wishes to abolish this because they think it is archaic and abused purely to arrest politicians. 

If you are true to yourself and know that you are in fact a member of the LGBT community, you know who to vote for.