Where does Malaysia stand on gay rights?

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03/11/2019

An outburst by a Malaysian minister who criticised a feminist rally attended by gay rights campaigners is the latest sign the government is reneging on pre-election vows to improve the country’s dismal human rights record, critics say. Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Rawa sparked uproar among activists when he said the presence of members of the gay community at the Women’s March Malaysia on Saturday was “shocking”, an “abuse” of democracy and an attempt to “defend practices that are against Islamic teachings”. The rally, which was supposed to mark International Women’s Day and was attended by ordinary citizens in addition to activists and non-governmental organisations, had made a series of demands to improve women’s rights, including an end to child marriage, a dignified minimum wage for all and an end to gender-based discrimination.

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