‘LGBTs just want the same rights as everyone, nothing more’

The LGBT community in Malaysia is only seeking the same rights enjoyed by other Malaysians and nothing more, social activist Marina Mahathir said today.

Marina said that despite this passive stance, members of the LGBT community face discrimination in their everyday lives based on assumptions and stigma.

“In Malaysia, the LGBT community is quite different from what you see in the West. I think everyone has been coloured by what they have seen in the West.

“The LGBT community in Malaysia is not asking for extra rights, they are asking for the same rights as everyone else.

“As far as I know, and I have a long history of knowing the communities, they are not particularly aggressive in demanding their rights. As you see, most of them are marginalised, and if you are marginalised, you are basically quite disempowered,” she told reporters when met in Ampang today.

Marina was asked to comment on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa saying that LGBTs should not be discriminated against, but should not challenge the country’s value system.

"Every Malaysian citizen is free and can't be discriminated at the workplace and in other issues,” the minister had said.

"As far as sexual orientation is concerned, if we keep quiet and do it without challenging the system, then that is another issue.

"(But) if we declare openly and feel proud about it, then that will be an issue with the values in our society and the laws in our country," he told reporters at the Parliament building on July 17.