PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian military has the toughest stand against homosexuality in Asia, an international study tracking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion in armed forces worldwide has shown.
According to the LGBT Military Index 2014, Malaysia came out 92nd out of a list of 103 countries, marking its armed forces as the 12th most hostile towards homosexuals.
Released by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, an independent research group of the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the study ranked New Zealand for having the most gay-inclusive army in the world.
Thailand, according to the index, was shown to have the most gay-friendly military (48th) in South-east Asia, followed by the Philippines (50th), Vietnam (53rd) and Indonesia (67th).
There is no data on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Singapore.
Nigeria was ranked as having the most gay-hostile armed forces in the world, followed by Iran and Syria.
The study covers 19 policies about LGBT participation in the military. It is divided according to inclusion, admission, tolerance, exclusion and persecution categories.
A Feb 24, 2005 report by a local English daily cited then navy chief Datuk Seri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor as saying that homosexuals would be barred from serving on its ships.
“We do not condone such (unnatural sex) acts. The RMN will never accept them (homosexuals) as we have to protect the (image of the) navy,” he was quoted as saying.
At the time, he was commenting on a report that Britain’s Royal Navy was recruiting homosexuals.
Then Defence Deputy Minister Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin was quoted by AP as saying that homosexuality was against Islam and violated local laws.