An exhibition was made to showcase Malaysian patriotism, but after the portraits of LGBT activists were removed from it, activist Marina Mahathir has come out to show her support by asking organisers to also remove her own portrait from the exhibit.
Photos of Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik were removed as ordered by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Free Malaysia Today reported.
The photography exhibition – titled “Stripes and Strokes” – forms part of the George Town Festival in Penang.
The reason for the removal?
Dr Mujahid said the removal of the portraits was justified in line with Putrajaya’s policy not to promote the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyle.
Marina, the daughter of current Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said: “I am personally very sad about this. When people say they are not treating LGBT Malaysians as second-class citizens, this is exact proof that discrimination exists.”
Author Faisal Tehrani also criticised Dr Mujahid, saying the minister in charge of Islamic affairs has more important matters to address like corruption within Islamic institutions or human rights violations against minorities within Islam.
Member of Parliament for Segambut, Hannah Yeoh, said on Twitter that although she does not agree with the LGBT community, there is no place for discrimination in the “new” Malaysia:
I fought for a new Malaysia that is free from racism, corruption and discrimination. This administration does not promote homosexuality, BUT we also cannot discriminate. We accept all Malaysians, even though we don’t agree with everyone 🇲🇾
— Hannah Yeoh (@hannahyeoh) August 8, 2018