Seksualiti Merdeka gets parliamentarians hot

The ‘Seksualiti Merdeka’ 2011 programme became a hot topic of discussion among members of parliament in the Dewan Rakyat here yesterday.

Debating the Supply Bill 2012 at committee stage (Foreign Affairs Ministry), Zulkifli Noordin (Independent-Kulim-Bandar Baharu) said the programme, fancifully claimed to be based on human rights, is an attempt at repealing  Section 377 of Penal Code.

Section 377 of Penal Code criminalises sex sodomy which, contrary to the honorable MP’s implication, can occur between any combination of sexes. Temperatures rose when Zulkifli tried to link the issue of repealing the section with the sodomy trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

“I’m concerned because sometime ago, an Opposition member wanted to repeal
Section 377. I wonder whether this event is also for the purpose,” he said.

The programme involving, Ambiga Sreenevasan, is held at the Annexe Gallery, Pasar Seni,
until Nov 13.

Zulkifli also claimed that organisers of the controversial programme actually want to promote a free sex party.

He likened Ambiga, who led the Bersih rally on July 9, to a caliph who now wants to promote unnatural sex.

This prompted Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) and Khalid Samad (PAS-Shah Alam) to stand up and protest the use of the word.

Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (PAS-Kota Raja) said she hoped that all parties and will use approaches other than violence to discussions around homosexuality.
Siti Mariah said she could not lend her support for the ‘Seksualiti Merdeka’ programme.

She suggested that the government amend the Penal Code to make adultery an offence under Section 377 in an effort to check such acts.

The deputy director-general of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, Razali Shahabudin said the programme could have negative effects and raise the risk of HIV and the rate of Aids infection among Malaysians. This report does not say if Razali cited any studies to back his claim.

He said in a statement that such activities were also against the norms and lifestyle of the people of various religions in the country.

The director-general of the Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM), Nik Mustapha Nik Hassan said the programme was clearly uncivilised and deviated from human behaviour and degraded human being as being worse than animals. Again, this report does not state if he cited any studies to back his claim.

In Shah Alam, Umno information head, Ahmad Maslan, said it was more appropriate for the Seksualiti Merdeka programme to be known as deviationist sexuality and it tainted the word ‘merdeka’.
Ahmad, who is also assistant minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said sexual liberty, such as gay and lesbianism not only went against Islamic teachings but also the teachings of other religions.
“Don’t be bound to the Western ways which has legalised homosexuality, same sex
marriages… going against the norms of the country which made Islam as the
Federal religion (sic),” he told reporters after opening a seminar here.

— Bernama