Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

"Spot A Gay" newspaper article sparks outrage

"That's what you're going to do, and if that's what you're happy doing because you want less gay people in this country, good job to you".

A national newspaper in Malaysia has published a disturbing list of "ways to spot a gay person", which activists have warned could endanger lives.

Gay men's eyes light up when they see handsome men, the story claimed.

When it comes to lesbians, the checklist details that they can be identified because they tend to hug each other, hold hands, and belittle men. The Muslim-majority country has retained a colonial-era penal code that criminalizes sexual behaviors "against the order of nature", which it defines as including homosexuality.

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A guy named Arwind Kumar, who's big on social media, attacked the paper for stereotyping gays in such a ridiculous way.

The Guardian adds that the country's deputy interior minister attacked Disney past year for refusing to cut a gay scene in Beauty and the Beast at the request of the Malaysian censorship board.

Malaysia has experienced growing religious fundamentalism in recent years, sparking friction between conservative forces and those campaigning for greater rights. Government censors had already approved the movie after the moment involving Disney's first openly gay character was cut.

One victim, an 18-year-old student called T Nhaveen, was beaten and burned to death last year by classmates who said he was gay.

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In June, the Malaysian Health Ministry sponsored a contest that offered up to $1 000 (almost R12 000) to youths who came up with videos about "preventing" homosexuality, the BBC reported.

'How the hell does a gay person endanger your life?

But Sinar Harian's article might pave the way for another wave of gay bashing in the conservative, Muslim-majority country, advocates anxious.

The blanket stereotypes don't make sense, either, he pointed out.

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