By Women’s Candidacy Initiative
The Women’s Candidacy Initiative (WCI) condemns the banning of Seksualiti Merdeka, which is a series of events aimed at understanding and advancing the rights of everyone’s diverse sexual orientation and gender identities in Malaysia.
The banning of this festival is an attack on Malaysia’s democracy and the fundamental principles of the Federal Constitution, including the right to freedom of expression and association.
WCI seeks to improve the democratic participation of women in Malaysia and regards the current act of censorship as extremely damaging to the participation of all women, especially women of diverse sexual orientations and/or gender identities.
The actions and statements of the police, as well as members of the government, deny Malaysians the enabling democratic environment in which the rich and valuable diversity of Malaysia’s citizenry are represented and may participate as equals.
WCI condemns the personal attacks on Ambiga Sreenevasan, and calls for an end to her persecution by individuals and the media.
WCI urges that those restricting or condemning the activities of Seksualiti Merdeka to bear in mind the dangers of hatred and vilification, dangers which were intended to be prevented by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which came into being after the Second World War.
WCI urges the police, the government and the media to express compassion and concern for vulnerable groups and to help make Malaysia a place where the valuable contributions of all may be possible to the benefit all.