Theatre icon calls for boycott after discrimination against LGBT


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 08 Aug 2018

PETALING JAYA: Theatre icon Jo Kukathas has called for all portraits at the George Town Festival exhibition to be taken down as an act of solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists whose portraits were removed.

"Following an order portraits of Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik have been taken down on the grounds that they are LGBT activists, I hope the other people whose portraits are part of the exhibition request that their portraits be taken down too as an act of solidarity with their fellow Malaysians.

"I hope the photographer who lovingly composed these shots feels the same way," she said on her Facebook page on Wednesday (Aug 8).

Kukathas said this in reference to the portraits of LGBT activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik who were removed on the orders of Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

She suggested that those who preferred that their portrait be taken down could ask to have the empty spot left with a "witty, pithy, serious, scathing, loving" caption of their choice.

Kukathas named Malaysian actor and radio personality Patrick Teoh, activist lawyer Siti Kasim, radio producer and presenter Umapagan Ampikaipakan, radio presenter Ezra Zaid, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, filmmaker Hassan Abd Muthalib, author Amir Muhammad, swimmer Jeffrey Ong, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Bernice Chauly, and Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang.

"Enough of this continuing hate, fear and discrimination.

"I voted for a new Malaysia - not this one. Don’t go round bullying photographers and festival organisers - @@Mooreyameen Mohamad Joe Sidek. And don’t bully us," she said.

Malaysian author Bernice Chauly on Facebook had announced that she would have her portrait taken down. 

"In solidarity with Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik and as I am also part of this exhibition, I am requesting that my picture be taken down, in protest," she said on her Facebook page.

Chauly added that she was outraged and that it was "not the new Malaysia" she had voted and hoped for.

"We are all Malaysians," she said.

Meanwhile, activist lawyer Siti Kasim voiced her deep disappointment with the Pakatan Government for "succumbing to bigots and fascists."

"What sort of government are we living in now?" she asked.

She was saddened that the LGBT community was being discriminated against despite showing patriotism to the country.

"When one is being discriminated even when one is showing patriotism for one's country because one's sexual orientation, gender and upholding rights for oppressed communities, what hope do we have for the future of this country?" she asked.
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