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Malaysian member of parliament Ahmad Marzuk Shaary unleashed a screed against Malaysia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community on Mar. 15.
Marzuk, a member of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) and the opposition Perikatan Nasional coalition, was the deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of religious affairs under the previous PN and Barisan Nasional governments.
According to MalaysiaKini, Marzuk spoke (somewhat ironically) during a debate on Malaysia's National Unity Index, warning that "issue" of the LGBT lifestyle could affect the unity index.
Marzuk said he did not consider the "LGBT lifestyle" human, that the LGBT community's lifestyle was "so perverted that it surpasses animal limits," and added, "Bulls do not marry bulls, cows do not marry cows."
Marzuk also said that he was confident that "normal people with the right mindset" would not support the group, adding that "if someone says that this is human rights, let me say that this is not human."
Recalling his time in government, Marzuk said that the previous PN government took the matter seriously enough that it formed a task force to look into the issue of LGBT issues in Malaysia.
That task force would eventually recommend laws that would allow action to be taken against social media users for "promoting the LGBT lifestyle", according to Reuters.
Referred to Pompeii
Marzuk also warned against divine wrath, citing the destruction of the Roman city of Pompeii, and the destruction of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Saying of Pompeii, which was destroyed in a volcanic eruption: "Let's remember this so that it doesn't happen again and we don't invite God's wrath in perverse things like this."
Of Sodom and Gomorrah, he said that the prophet Lut had gone to the cities to preach against their sinful ways of homosexuality, as well as their "lustful and violent acts".
While Sodom and Gomorrah is part of religious text as a warning against sinful ways, Pompeii was destroyed in 79AD by a volcano and sinfulness is not officially cited as a reason for its destruction.
Marzuk's comments drew immediate backlash from other Malaysian politicians.
Salahuddin Ayub, the deputy president of Amanah, a component party of the incumbent Pakatan Harapan government, pushed back, saying that all Malaysians "have a right to live in this country".
Salahuddin was quoted by MalaysiaKini as saying it was not right to "generalise" and that "crimes" should be investigated "case by case".
Former MP Charles Santiago, who had until the 2022 General Election been an MP for PH, hit out against Marzuk's party.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Santiago said that PAS should look to deal with serious issues in the state of Kelantan and Terengganu, rather than target the LGBT community.
STATEMENT: @PASPusat has been targeting the LGBT communities recently when there are serious issues it needs to deal with in K’tan & T’ganu. For ex, CJ has expressed concern over the high number of child sex abuse cases, totalling 59, recorded in K’tan in 2022.— Charles Santiago (@mpklang) March 15, 2023
PAS has a rock solid grip on the state assemblies in both states, and has governed them for several decades, something that is unlikely to change in upcoming state elections.
Santiago went into detail about some of those issues. FreeMalaysia Today quoted him as saying that Malaysian Chief Justice Maimun Tuan Mat had recently voiced concern about the number of sexual abuse cases involving children in Kelantan, with 59 such cases recorded in 2022.
In Terengganu, Santiago said, 83.3 per cent of native Orang Asli households lived below the RM 2,208 (S$664) poverty line.
“It’s time for PAS to look at development issues in the states it governs, on top of the rise in sexual crimes. Training its guns on the LGBT is a cheap tactic and won’t help create progress."
Top image via Demi Malaiu/Twitter & Ustaz Marzuk Shaary/Facebook
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