It is with Great Sadness that we read about the Malaysian Police Ban of the Seksualiti Merdeka Festival planned to be held in Malaysia from the 9th to the 13th of November.
Malaysia claims to be “Truly Asia” but the banning of the festival by the Malaysian authorities proves otherwise. Asia is about diversity, and if one is to truly embrace the essence of Asia, one embraces and respects its diversity of culture, religion, and language, celebrates its people and their own unique ways of expressing emotion, love and sexuality, all this accompanied with the sounds, aromas and color, create what we all consider to be the drama of what Asia is all about, if we take one of these elements out, we loose what is truly Asia.
The banning of the Festival by the Malaysian Police is a fundamental disregard of the rights of the Malaysian Citizens to freedom of speech and expression.
Mr. Khalid Abu Bakar, Deputy inspector General of Police in his statement also shows blatant disregard to the Human Rights of the LGBT community in Malaysia, and clearly does not consider their rights as Human Rights.
We strongly urge the Malaysian authorities to reinstate the festival and celebrate the diversity that is truly Asia.
Poedjiati Tan & Sahran Abeysundara
Asian Representatives to the ILGA WORLD Board