The government recently announced that it does not rule out the possibility of amending the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 in order to prosecute members of the LGBT community more harshly.
According to Ahmad Marzuk, the deputy minister in the prime minister’s department of religious affairs, the current sentence which provides three years of prison time, RM5,000 fine and six cane strokes is considered to be not effective on people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transexual (LGBT).
According to reports by Free Malaysia Today (FMT), he told reporters that this amendment should be deemed necessary and stern action has been taken upon those who do not dress according to their gender.
“All state religious agencies and enforcers have been instructed to take action against those (LGBT) who do not behave accordingly,” he said.
He added that it’s important that “their wrongdoings” are addressed as well.
Here’s how Malaysians reacted to the news.
Although distressed by the move, some were more worried of the government’s priorities as of during a global health pandemic.
Some also highlighted the issue of child marriage, minimum wage, and the government’s lacking towards fixing these issues instead.
Others also input their opinions to “support and respect” or “don’t support but respect nonetheless”.