KUALA LUMPUR: A senior PAS lawmaker has asked the government whether it recognises the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) "culture" after it did not take any action against organisers of an International Women's Day rally.
Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang) said that she never questioned the legality of the rally, but rather the participation of LGBT supporters during the event.
"This is not about having a permit or not, but it is a moral issue, the meaning behind the rally.
"We are concerned that such a culture will be normalised, promoted and people will no longer be sensitive to the LGBT lifestyle," she told a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (July 17).
It was reported that the organisers of the International Women's Day march on March 9 had five demands, including ensuring women's rights, but there was a backlash over the presence of LGBT participants at the rally.
Siti Zailah said that several syariah laws penalise acts of sodomy and lesbianism, as well as men who dress up as women among Muslims.
Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) said the government's response to the issue showed that it recognises "men who dress up as women as real women".
"This should not be acceptable in our country which recognises Islam as the religion of the Federation," he said.
In a written reply, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the government had classified the case as no further action (NFA) as investigations showed that organisers of the International Women's Day march had submitted a notice 10 days before the rally in line with Article 9 (1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.