Malaysian authorities release video with instructions on how to ‘reverse’ homosexuality

Protesters hold pro-equality signs and LGBT flags at the women's march in Malaysia

Authorities in Malaysia have released a three-minute video suggesting that sexual orientation can be changed with “extensive training and guidance”.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department, known as Jakim, released the video encouraging the Islamic community to “be patient” with LGBT+ Malaysians and urging LGBT+ people to repent.

Malaysia still has British colonial-era laws criminalising gay sex, with punishment including fines and up to 20 years in prison. LGBT+ people have no legal protections against discrimination in the predominantly Islamic country.

Jakim’s video told LGBT+ people to repent their homosexuality and fulfil their sexual desires through marriage and fasting, according to the Wellston Journal.

The Facebook video has received mixed feedback, with some praising Jakim for what they perceived as it’s relatively positive stance towards LGBT+ people.

“Colour me surprised with rainbow colours. JAKIM actually came out with a video that is non-hateful of the LGBT community,” said Luq Harith.

“Not impressed with the content but kudos to JAKIM for focusing on not being hateful or violent towards LGBTQ people,” said Huda Mutalib.

But others criticised Jakim for suggesting sexual orientation can be changed and for encouraging so-called conversion therapy.

“This video is going to make people believe that there is a way to ‘change‘ homosexuals into heterosexuals. No way you can do that,” said Sheelabanu Sri Jaya.

“We set such a low bar for Muslims to get them to act like decent human beings. Calling for reparative therapy is not exactly good intentions, let alone genuine respect that LGBTQI people should live their lives the way they want it to be,” said Zulaikha Mohammad.

“So JAKIM‘s strategy is to use compassion to lure Muslim LGBT to the ‘right‘ path while enacting anti-LGBT syariah laws to punish and ruin the lives of those who decide to follow their heart and their own conviction,” said Raymond Tai.

Last month, five men in Malaysia were jailed, fined and caned for attempting homosexual sex in the Muslim-majority country.

And earlier this year, Asian human rights leaders voiced concern over an “insidious” government crackdown on LGBT+ people in Malaysia.