Could sexual minorities join armed forces one day? ‘LGBT not suited to our culture’, says DPM

BY RAM ANAND
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks during a National Transformation 2050 programme in Serdang October 24, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SERDANG, Oct 24 — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community are not suited to Malaysia’s culture, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said during a Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) forum here today.

“They are not suited to our culture and customs,” Zahid said when a TN50 participant asked him if sexual minorities would be allowed to join the country’s security forces in the future.

Zahid however did not categorically rule out sexual minorities being part of the security agencies under the government, saying that a certain “underline” has to be drawn on the quality of candidates.

“I leave it to the security agencies to decide,” he added.

Malaysia criminalises anal and oral sex as carnal intercourse against the order of nature, but there are no laws that specifically prohibit or punish same-sex attraction.

However, homosexuality along with other non-heterosexual orientations are taboo in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Members of the LGBT community regularly complain of harassment by the authorities, notably Muslim transgenders who fall foul of religious laws against cross-dressing.