PETALING JAYA: The possible legalisation of same-sex marriages in neighbouring Thailand is worrying as it can indirectly impact Malaysia, says Malaysia Department of Islamic Development (Jakim).
In a written response, Jakim director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha told The Star Online that the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry should take stern action and share their views on curbing the problem by "creating a specific civil law" on the matter.
When asked about Jakim's stand on gay marriages among Malaysian homosexuals in other countries, he said such matters were difficult to control and detect.
"Although Malaysia does not recognise same-sex marriages, we are unable to stop it from spreading, especially when there is no specific law inclusive of all races and religions to address this,” he said.
In Thailand, a draft law seeking to offer lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples the same legal rights as heterosexual couples is reportedly being readied.
"In other countries such as Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia, this issue has gained a footing. These communities have made efforts and provocations to obtain recognition under the banner of ‘basic human rights’ and their movements are very detailed,” he claimed.
Although Malaysia cannot interfere in the affairs of foreign countries, Othman said that what the LGBT community champions as basic human rights will act as a "cancer" to society.
"Malaysia does not recognise LGBT. Its practitioners are committing a serious offence as stated in the Syariah Law in various states," he said.
He said Jakim had made many efforts since 2011 to bring religion to these groups, including mukhayyam (camping trips), iftar (breaking of fast), religious classes, and counselling.
"These people are also looking for a way out, so we have non-governmental organisations conducting therapy and counselling for their troubles. The solution is to return to the teachings of Islam,” he added.