Malaysian states consider new penalties for gays

Published: November 11, 2011

Two Malaysian states are considering a change in their Islamic laws so that it is more likely that gay Muslims will suffer under federal and local state laws.

New laws planned by Pahang and Malacca religious authorities would give the state governments power to punish gays in addition to national laws which provide for caning and 20 years’ imprisonment.

It appears prison terms could run consecutively under the laws.

Mohd Ali Rustam, chief minister of Malacca, said the state was reviewing its Islamic laws, with the effect that Muslim gays may be tried in court and punished with imprisonment or a fine.

He told Reuters: “So many people like to promote human rights, even up to the point they want to allow lesbian activities and homosexuality.”

“In Islam, we cannot do all this. It is against Islamic law.”

He added that Muslim LGBT people would also be required to attend counselling and that anyone who supported homosexuality could be subject to similar penalties.

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