Malaysian MP calls for ‘gay rehab’

Mustafa Ali (R), Fadzil Noor (C) and Mahfuz Omar (L). UPALI ATURUGIRI/AFP/Getty Images

A Malaysian MP who described ‘scary’ levels of homosexuality in his country has called for the government to open a gay ‘rehabilitation’ centre.

Bernama Online reported that Datuk Baharum Mohamad, a Barisan Nasional MP, told the country’s Parliament yesterday that three in ten men in the country were gay, a figure he described as “scary”.

Baharum said: “We have to find a solution to combat these activities from getting rampant just like the efforts we take to combat drugs.

“A study has found that, right now, three out of 10 men in Malaysia are gay. This is scary.”

The study has so far not been identified and it is not clear whether Baharum intended ‘rehabilitation’ to be voluntary.

Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia, and the country has already caused anger after it sent “effeminate” boys to a “gay cure” camp in early 2011.

In November, it was reported police had ordered gay rights activists to scrap Seksualiti Merdeka, an annual gay arts festival aimed at fighting discrimination.

The festival had been held annually in Kuala Lumpur since 2008, but suffered increasing criticism by politicians and religious leaders as it gains awareness.

The Malaysian Film Producers’ Association said in 2010 gays could be depicted in films so long as they turned straight by the end of the feature.

The country’s first gay-themed film went on to find comparative success at the country’s box office in 2011.

Dalam Botol, or In A Bottle, about a man who undergoes gender reassignment to the detriment of his relationship with his male partner, made just over one million ringgit (£205,000) in five days, its producer said.