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Anti-gay state-sponsored musical in Malaysia provokes outrage

Asmara Songsang (Abnormal Desire)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia can now add musicals to the growing list of state-sponsored efforts to help curb the spread of homosexuality in this largely Muslim country. The Guardian is reporting that Asmara Songsang (Abnormal Desire), written and directed by Rahman Adam, 73, aims to teach younger members of the LGBT community about the evils of their homosexual lifestyles.

The play centers on three young people all of whom are gay. Those that repent from their loud music-playing, drug-taking, casual-sex having ways are saved and those that don’t are killed in a lightning storm. “Children need to recognize that men are for women, and women are for men. They [LGBT] are all out to have homosexual and lesbian sex, and although right now it is not so serious [in Malaysia], we need to act, to do something, to say something, to say that this is bad and not to follow it,” warned the artist.

“We are extremely concerned that such damaging messages and misrepresentation will increase violence toward the community, [as] the LGBT community is already subject to multiple forms of violence and persecution by the state,” counters S. Thilaga of Seksualiti Merdeka, an annual festival that promotes LGBT rights in Malaysia.

This is not the first time that the country has found itself at the center of controversy over LGBT matters. In 2011, the country set up camps to correct effeminate behavior in boys and last year the Ministry of Education issued free guidelines for its schools on how to spot homosexuality in school children (which included the much-lampooned v-neck T-shirt).

The production, which stars the biggest names in Malaysian television, debuted this month at the National Theater in Kuala Lumpur and is now touring universities, schools and teacher-training colleges, all with complimentary tickets.

When accused of inciting hate, Adam blithely responded, “”My job is to write a story and direct a play. That is all. If anyone said I tried to create hateful feelings, then I say no, I didn’t do that at all. I always do good things.”

Clearly not.


Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=35577

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013. Filed under Around the World, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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