Pas urges the government not to lift the police ban on Seksualiti Merdeka (Pic by: My News Hub)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Ulama Pas (council of clergies) today urged the Malaysian government not to succumb to demands from Human Rights Watch (HRW) to lift the ban on the Seksualiti Merdeka festival.
Head of the influential wing Datuk Harun Taib (pic) said: “The government should not be listening to their demands. We have our own principles and values, so we should not be listening to other people all the time to tell us what is right and wrong.”
He said although Malaysia is a member of the United Nations, there is no need for the government to lift the ban in the name of human rights as the festival is a matter of choice, and not about basic human rights.
“What is important is the fact that we have our religions and guidelines for the society to adhere to. Malaysia has its own identity, we should preserve that rather than being influenced by the culture of others.”
The Dewan Ulama is a powerful wing within Pas as its members, considered as party elders, are looked up to when matters of Islamic principles and decrees are in question.
Harun was responding to reports of the HRW sending a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asking the Malaysian Government to reverse its ban on the Seksualiti Merdeka festival scheduled to be held beginning today (Nov 9) until Nov 13.
Earlier today Jailani Harun in his blog Just Read published the letter from HRW to the Prime Minister.
The letter, which was signed by its deputy director (Asia Division) Phil Robertson and its director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights programme Graeme Reid, stated: “By its banning of Seksualiti Merdeka, the government has seriously harmed Malaysia’s claims to being a country that celebrates unity in diversity.”
“You can reverse that blatant act of discrimination by immediately ending the ban, and by investigating and prosecuting threats against the LGBT community.”
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad (pic) when contacted explained that the reason for Pas’ opposition to the Seksualiti Merdeka festival is clear, as sexual preference by individuals is a matter of choice.
“Somehow LGBT has been propagated as a unique and progressive culture for individuals whereas it goes against the norms of our society. It has nothing to do with human rights,” he said.
Khalid said he believes the Malaysian government should continue with the ban on Seksualiti Merdeka festival as there are lines that need to be drawn pertaining to moral and social issues in the country.
The police banned Seksualiti Merdeka festival last week, saying the ban was in the interest of public order.