The Malaysian government has begun holding seminars aiming to help teachers and parents spot signs of homosexuality in children, underscoring a rise in religious conservatism in the country.
So far, the Teachers Foundation of Malaysia has organised 10 seminars across the country. Attendance at the last event on Wednesday reached 1,500 people, a spokesman for the organisation said.
“It is a multi-religious and multicultural [event], after all, all religions are basically against that type of behaviour,” said the official.
The federal government said in March that it is working to curb the “problem” of homosexuality, especially among Muslims who make up over 60% of Malaysia’s population of 29 million people.
According to a handout issued at a recent seminar, signs of homosexuality in boys may include preferences for tight, light-coloured clothes and large handbags, local media reported.
For girls, the details were less clear. Girls with lesbian tendencies have no affection for men and like to hang out and sleep in the company of women, the reports said. …
Official intolerance of gay people has been on the rise. Last year, despite widespread criticism, the east coast state of Terengganu set up a camp for “effeminate” boys to show them how to become men.
The latest seminar for the teachers and parents was run by deputy education minister Puad Zarkashi, his office confirmed.
Zarkashi wasn’t immediately available for comment but national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying that being able to identify the signs will help contain the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle among the young, especially students.
“Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] groups,” he was quoted as saying.
Ominously, the story doesn’t tell us what they plan to do with the detected children, apart from sending them to a reeducation camp. I’m afraid it may involve something like this.