Word of a parenting guide launched in Penang spread quickly on the blogosphere this week. It was apparently unveiled during a seminar that Malaysian Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi attended.
From Free Malaysia Today:
The guide listed four symptoms each for gays and lesbians:
- Muscular body and a fondness for showing off the body by wearing clothing, such as by wearing V-necks and sleeveless tops
- A preference for tight and bright coloured clothes
- An inclination to be attracted to men
- A tendency to carry big handbags, similar to the kinds used by women
- Showing attraction to women
- Distancing themselves from women other than their girlfriends
- A preference for hanging out, sleeping and dining with women
- Absence of feelings for men
The latest news is that the ministry has denied endorsing these guidelines and said the seminar was the work of concerned NGOs.
This is the same government that reportedly, along with Singapore, has opposed including sexual orientation and gender identity in the ASEAN human rights declaration. As Alex Au wrote, "Aichr representatives (one each) from Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei had been given directives by their respective governments to oppose any mention of SOGI in the Asean Human Rights Declaration". Civil society groups are now calling for the draft declaration to keep up with international human rights laws and standards." ("At Asean, Singapore choosing to be anti-human rights")
Failure to protect the rights of specific groups: The rights of individuals, groups and peoples whose rights are subject to frequent and systematic attacks in ASEAN, and therefore deserve specific protection, as developed in international human rights standards, are either mentioned in one or two words or not mentioned at all. Women, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, migrant workers are barely mentioned, whereas the rights of minorities, LGBT/Q persons, Indigenous Peoples and persons deprived of liberty get no mention at all.