KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A popular Malaysian newspaper called Sinar Harian caused outrage globally after it published a list on ‘How to spot a gay’ person.
The checklist, that was published alongside an article that described homosexuality as a problem, included people wearing branded clothes, having facial hair and wearing tight shirts that reveal a six-pack.
The list also included that a person going to the gym, but only to socialize, indicates a man is gay.
The newspaper said that the checklist includes identifiable characteristics of a gay man.
According to the Malay newspaper article, homosexuality is a “problem” that was becoming more prevalent in Malaysian society.
Further, the newspaper, Sinar Harian also included a list of characteristics associated with being a lesbian that includes liking being alone and hating and antagonizing men.
It said that lesbians also like hugging and holding hands.
Malaysian society is gripped with widespread discrimination against lesbian and gay people, where same-sex activity between men is illegal and is punishable.
Those that are caught for the ‘crime’ are whipped and face up to 20 years in jail.
A number of Sharia-based laws and regulations also ban same-sex relations for women and men.
Commenting on the article by the newspaper, Arwind Kumar, a YouTube star and activist, said, “I’m not sure who wrote this article, but to you, my dear friend, don’t try to be God. Take a step back down, have a seat back on your chair...don’t do this. There are much more important issues in this country that need to be addressed.”
Kumar added, “If you really want to educate society then explain to them the traits of a paedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper, those kinds of people that actually endanger the life of another. Do not tell them about gays. How the hell does a gay person endanger your life? With an article like this you’re only going to take away lives."
According to activists, intolerance of LGBT people has spiked in recent years in Malaysia.