Malaysia is a conservative country and the authorities have always had a strong stance on the LGBTQ community.
In its latest enforcement activity, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) went on a raid at a Halloween event at REXKL. As a result, several drag queens and transgender people were detained for investigations.
According to The Star, Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Noor Dellhan Yahaya said the raid was conducted at about 10 pm on Saturday (29 October).
“The 20 men, aged from 22 to 34, were detained by JAWI under Section 28 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997. On top of wearing women’s clothing, they also posed as women,” he said.
He added that the urine test for two men came back positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Meanwhile, several videos of the incident found its way to social media, showing how the participants dressed in costumes for the Halloween-themed evening were standing helplessly as the police officers shouted instructions in the huge hall.
It was reported that the investigations by JAWI are on crossdressing ‘for immoral purposes’ and ‘encouraging sinful acts’, respectively under section 28 and 35 of Wilayah Persekutuan shariah offenses act.
JUST IN: PDRM and JAWI raided a Halloween event at REXKL on Saturday (October 29) night.— BFM News (@NewsBFM) October 29, 2022
Several drag queens and transgender people are reported to have been detained by Jawi for investigations.
📸: Twitter/tnahssin, NumanAfifi pic.twitter.com/lqZFx1PhwT
Mixed opinion among netizens
The incident has since sparked a mixed reaction from netizens, with some condemning the authorities for ignoring basic human rights, while the others supporting the actions of PDRM and JAWI.
Among them who condemned the authorities include Klang MP Charles Santiago, who slammed the authorities for targeting the LGBTQ community.
“This is harassment against a marginalised community. When will we learn to respect and accept people for who they are,” Santiago wrote in a tweet.
The REXKL raid clearly shows that the LGBTQ+ community continues to be targeted by authorities. This is harassment against a marginalised community. When will we learn to respect and accept people for who they are? (1/4) https://t.co/Czg0dMX2ZR— Charles Santiago (@mpklang) October 30, 2022
On the other hand, some netizens congratulated the PDRM and JAWI for stopping immorality from happening.
“Great news. Please do this more often. Malaysia do not accept public portrayal or event of LGBT in Malaysia,” a netizen said.
“Alphabet community/culture (referring to the LGBTQ community) will never be accepted in Malaysia. You have only 2 options, keep to yourself or migrate to western countries that accepted u guys. Good Luck,” another netizen said.
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