OpinionIn the early hours of a Saturday morning in late August, Malaysian police stormed into the Blue Boy club in central Kuala Lumpur, one of the country’s oldest LGBT venues. As more than a 100 stunned locals and tourists looked on, 20 men were detained and ordered into counselling for “illicit activities”. Although police claimed the raid was part of an anti-drug drive in the area, a government minister later posted on Facebook that he hoped it would “mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society”.Apart from being wildly discriminatory and humiliating, what makes this raid even more disappointing is that it came just a few months after Malaysia’s historic May election. The Pakatan Harapan coalition ended the 61-year reign of the former authoritarian government, having campaigned on a platform of respect for human rights and an end to corruption.Since the new administration took office, the wheels of promised reforms are beginning to turn. From Indonesia – where I serve as a Member of Parliament—we have watched with hope and admiration how the new government has committed to ratify a number of international human rights treaties, begun the process of quashing a repressive “anti-fake news” law, and promised to… Read full this story
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