Many Malaysians have been in a heated debate after the portraits of two prominent activists in Malaysia’s LGBT community, Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik, were taken down from an exhibition under Penang’s George Town Festival (GTF).
While a number of people pointed out that this was an act of discrimination, others thought it was inappropriate for LGBT activists to be represented in an exhibition celebrating Malaysia. Activist Marina Mahathir had even requested for her portrait to be removed from the exhibition in solidarity with Nisha and Pang in light of this.
Now, in recent developments, the United States embassy in Malaysia came out with a short but bold statement on their official Facebook page in support of the two activists. Their post reads,
“Pictures are worth a thousand words, but actions speak even louder. We stand proudly with 2016 Women of Courage award winner Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik and the work they do to promote #tolerance and #acceptance.”
Pictures are worth a thousand words, but actions speak even louder. We stand proudly with 2016 International Women of…
The statement was referring to the time transgender activist Nisha Ayub was invited to Washington D.C. in the United States to receive the Women of Courage award in 2016 from then secretary of state, John Kerry.
Pang Khee Teik is also known for his prominent activism in the Malaysian LGBT community as well, as he founded Seksualiti Merdeka (which was shut down by authorities in 2011), and Art for Grabs.
Malaysian officials have given mixed opinions about the taking down of their portraits. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, had reportedly ordered the photos to be taken down, saying that the government did not support “the promotion of LGBT culture in Malaysia”.
Kuantan MP and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Fuziah Salleh, also shared the same sentiments, saying that Malaysians did not want LGBT people to be their children’s role models, according to Bernama.
Meanwhile, Klang MP Charles Santiago defended the activists, saying that they represented the values many Malaysians hold dear. Deputy Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development, Hannah Yeoh also condemned the act on Twitter.
I fought for a new Malaysia that is free from racism, corruption and discrimination. This administration does not promote homosexuality, BUT we also cannot discriminate. We accept all Malaysians, even though we don't agree with everyone 🇲🇾
— Hannah Yeoh (@hannahyeoh) August 8, 2018
What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know in the comments below!
Klang Is A Red Zone But School Sessions Will Carry On, Says Education Dept
The Selangor State Education Department (JPNS) says that school sessions in Klang will still continue as usual even though the...
Police Arrest OKU Man With Pink Tag At A Supermarket In Melaka
Police have arrested a man with hearing disabilities who was wearing a pink tag. The man was arrested at a...
Kitchen Helper From Huckleberry Damansara Heights Tests Positive For Covid-19
Huckleberry Damansara Heights just reported that one of their own kitchen helpers tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement put...
PM: Interstate Travel Between East Malaysia To Semenanjung Temporarily Banned
It looks like Malaysia isn’t going into lockdown yet, but if they consider it, they’ll let us know earlier, at...
Health DG: Third Death Case Today Is 1-year-old Baby From Semporna, Sabah
Malaysia recorded an all-time high in the number of Covid-19 cases today, 691 positive cases with 688 local transmissions and...