Police raid Malaysian gay bar to ‘stop the spread of LGBT culture in society’

Malaysian police have raided a gay bar in the country’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, which authorities have said was carried out to “mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society.”

The Blue Boy club in Jalan Sultan Ismail, which lies in the east of the city, was raided at about 1:30am on Saturday morning (August 18), reports national newspaper Berita Harian.

The raid was allegedly carried out by Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI), and the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK).

Regional Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan bin Hj Md Ikshan told the newspaper that the bar was filled with about 100 people, including tourists, at the time of the incident.

The police raid took place on Saturday morning. (Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan/Facebook)

It is reportedly the first time the club has been raided in its 30 year history.

The regional ministry secretary-general said that a series of raids were carried out in the city after investigations “found that the area had serious drug addiction problems.”

However, Khalid Samad, the minister of Federal Territory, implied in an official statement on the Ministry of Federal Territory’s Facebook page that the police action was in response to the club being an LGBT+ venue.

“The government is very serious in dealing with this radical belief. Hopefully this initiative can mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society,” the statement, which describes the venue as a “famous gay club,” reads, according to a translation by Malaysian-English news site World Of Buzz.

According to World Of Buzz, the JAWI gave orders to 20 men arrested during the raid to go to counselling.

Malaysia has a poor record on LGBT+ rights, where homosexual activity remains illegal ever since a ban on sodomy was introduced under British colonial rule.

In 1994, the government also made it illegal for LGBT+ people to make appearances in the state-controlled media.

20 men were reportedly arrested during the police intervention. (Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan/Facebook)

A 2015 Human Rights Watch report noted that “discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is pervasive in Malaysia.”

Malaysia’s deputy health minister Lee Boon Chye recently said that LGBT+ people suffer from an “organic disorder.”

A government official said that a number of other raids were carried out in the area. (Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan/Facebook)

Religious affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa, meanwhile, attracted global attention earlier this month when he ordered two portraits of LGBT+ Malaysian activists be removed from an exhibition.

On August 13, PinkNews reported that two women in the country were sentenced to six lashings each after being arrested for having sex with each other.