Malaysia seeks gay ‘prevention’ videos


By BBC

The Malaysian government is encouraging young people to make videos about “preventing” homosexuality by offering cash prizes.

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A competition launched on the health ministry’s website offers up to $1,000 for the best videos tackling “gender confusion”.

The entries should explore prevention and control; issues and consequences; and how to get help, said the site.

It is open for 13- to 24-year-olds, and has been condemned by LGBT groups.

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The competition, which closes at the end of August, has three main categories: gender confusion, sex, and sex and the internet.

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Participants have been asked to look at gays, lesbians transgender people, transvestites and/or tomboys.

“The very fact that they lump LGBT people under a category called ‘gender confusion’ shows that the authorities are very much confused themselves,” activist Pang Khee Teik told AFP news agency.

“It is mind-blowing that a government agency wants the whole country to be sucked into its confluence of confusion,” he said.

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“I was shocked. This is encouraging discrimination, hatred and even violence towards the minorities,” transgender activist Nisha Ayub told Reuters.

Homosexual activity is illegal in Malaysia under both secular and religious laws.

It is punishable by a prison sentence or corporal punishment.

In March, the release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was postponed in the country, because it contained a “gay moment”.

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Despite demands from the Malaysian censorship board, Disney refused to remove the scene, featuring LeFou, their first openly gay character.

The Malaysian board eventually conceded and it was shown uncut.

A prominent Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was refused to remove the scene, after a court overturned his earlier acquittal. In elections in 2013, he led a three-party alliance which posed the strongest-ever challenge to the coalition which has governed Malaysia for more than half a century.

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