Thursday, October 22, 2020
Home Opinions This day in 2018: Malaysia saw a lesbian couple caned publicly for the first...

This day in 2018: Malaysia saw a lesbian couple caned publicly for the first time in its history

A year has passed since the shameful public caning of the two Malaysian women and in the space of a year, they have become mere specks of dust in the sands of time.

Today is the one year anniversary of the first public caning of a lesbian couple in Malaysia for the crime of attempting to have sex in the car. It was the first instance of conviction for same-sex relationships in the country and the sentence was carried out in public in the Malaysian state of Terengganu.

It is pertinent to mention that the women were caned not for actually having sex but only for attempting it. The public caning attracted widespread condemnation from rights groups and also from certain sections of the Malaysian polity.

The unnamed women, aged 22 and 32 at the time, were caned six times at a courtroom in front of family members and officials. The couple admitted to a charge of “sexual relations between women” and were also fined 3,300 ringgit (£633). More than 100 people witnessed the degrading punishment.

Reportedly, they were seated on stools facing the judges and were struck six times on their back by female prison officers with a light rattan. The women were dressed in white Hijabs and apparently, they did not cry or scream but “showed remorse”, said Muslim Lawyers’ Association Deputy President Abdul Rahim Sinwan.

“The punishment was shocking and it was a spectacle,” Thilaga Sulathireh, an activist from the Malaysian rights group Justice for Sisters told the Guardian, “For all intents and purposes it was a public caning.” “This case shows a regression for human rights,” she said, “Not only for LGBT people but all persons because corporal punishment affects all people.”

The verdict, according to Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender program at Human Rights Watch, was the “latest blow to Malaysia’s LGBT community, which had hoped for better protection under the new government”. “This prosecution and punishment,” he said in a statement, “will only fuel the recent wave of homophobia and transphobia in Malaysia.”

The Women’s Aid Organisation, a Malaysia-based society which campaigns for gender equality, called it a “sad day” for the country. “We are outraged and appalled by this grave violation of human rights,” it said in a statement. It added, “Sexual acts between two consenting adults should not be criminalised, let alone punished with whipping, which is inhumane and degrading.”

Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Malaysia Researcher, said on the matter, “This is a terrible day for LGBTI rights, and indeed human rights, in Malaysia. To inflict this brutal punishment on two people for attempting to engage in consensual, same-sex relations is an atrocious setback in the government’s efforts to improve its human rights record.”

She added, “The caning of the two women is a dreadful reminder of the depth of discrimination and criminalization that LGBTI people face in the country. It’s a sign that the new government condones the use of measures that amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, much like its predecessor.”

The public caning of the women was symbolic of the terrible human rights record of Islamic countries. And yet, despite the terrible atrocities that are committed far too frequently by the Islamic regimes, they are often given a free pass by LGBT rights oranizations. The Indian state doesn’t commit any crimes remotely at par with such atrocities and yet, attracts far wider condemnation. It does betray the hypocrisy that dominates such organizations.

Multinational corporations, too, which virtue-signal immensely on issues pertaining to human rights and bigotry strangely keep a mum when it comes to the atrocities perpetuated by Islamic regimes. Zomato, for instance, which got into a controversy recently after its founder tried to make money off the existing fault-lines in our society, has never had anything meaningful to say on the religious bigotry that permeates Malaysian society, despite the fact that it operates in the country as well.

It only goes on to show that ‘Woke Capitalism’ treats people from the LGBT community as commodities they need to sell their products to in order to increase their own profit margins. They don’t really care about their rights. Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal may claim he is comfortable with losing customers for his values, but his actions say quite clearly, not really.

The LGBT community itself, across the world, is more tolerant of radical Islam and has, in fact allied itself with it in the West and in India despite the fact people from the LGBT community are persecuted in the worst possible manner in Islamic regimes. The consider Christianity in the West and Hinduism in India to be more of a threat to the LGBT community despite the fact that homosexuality is legal in these countries and hardly anyone is persecuted for their sexuality alone.

A year has passed since the shameful public caning of the two Malaysian women and in the space of a year, they have become mere specks of dust in the sands of time. The atrocity that was committed against them has been conveniently forgotten by the very people who would claim to be their allies. And as more things change, more do they remain the same.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

Related Articles

Trending now

Is Modi govt giving Coronavirus vaccines for ‘free’ only to Bihar? No, that’s not how it works

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday while releasing the BJP manifesto in Bihar for upcoming elections said that the BJP promises free coronavirus vaccines in Bihar, whenever the vaccine is made available.

All you need to know about Mohammad Shahabuddin, the dreaded mafia don and once Lalu Yadav’s close aide who made Siwan tremble

The Siwan district, in the 90s and early 21st century, became his fiefdom and Mohammad Shahabuddin was its unchallenged ruler.

Bihar Assembly elections: NDA set to return to power as migrant workers may put their weight behind Modi

From migrant workers crisis to Citizenship Amendment Act - what will sway the Bihar elections

“Islam is in crisis all over the world” and all the other things the French President said

Earlier this month, the French President Emmanuel Macron took the stage at city hall in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux to deliver one of the most consequential speeches of his career.

October 22, 1947: The day when Pakistan-backed tribal Lashkars invaded Jammu and Kashmir to plunder, rape and destroy

A two-day national symposium on 'Memories of 22 October 1947' is being organised in Srinagar to create awareness among the Kashmiris about the violence inflicted by Pakistan on their ancestors

France: Charlie Hebdo cartoons projected on government building to express solidarity with deceased teacher who was beheaded by Islamic terrorist

Days after the barbaric beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the streets of Paris by a terrorist for showing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students, support continues to pour in for the deceased teacher.

Recently Popular

UK: 37-year-old paedophile named Rehan Baig jailed for raping chickens to death while his wife filmed it

Rhan Baig's wife had also joined him in the videos and at one point he alternated between having sex with his wife and the chickens.

‘Comedian’ Agrima Joshua, who calls herself ‘feminist’, passes offensive sexual comments against woman due to political differences

Agrima Joshua had earlier found herself in a controversy after insulting the Shivaji Maharaj memorial during a performance.

Remember Sheena Bora case? Param Bir Singh was the IG of Konkan range, the site where her body was dumped

Param Bir Singh knew that Sheena Bora was missing. He had asked Rahul Mukerjea to file a 'missing persons' report. Sheena, however, was never reported as 'missing'.

Paris: Two Muslim women stabbed under Eiffel Tower by white women shouting “dirty Arabs”

Two Muslim women were stabbed repeatedly under the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night by two white women who called them "dirty Arabs".

Caught on camera: NCP’s Nawab Malik ‘predicts’ Arnab will commit suicide as he will be ‘trapped’ in TRP case

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik insists that though the BARC letter clears Republic TV's name, the police investigation 'will find evidence' against Arnab.

No, going to Dubai to buy the new iPhone 12 Pro is not cheaper than buying in India. Here is how

Dhruv Rathee criticised the 'Indian Tax System' by claiming that travelling to Dubai for buying an iPhone 12 Pro is cheaper than getting it from India.
- Advertisement -

UP Police Sub-Inspector Intesar Ali suspended for keeping beard without permission

SP Abhishek Singh said that police personnel other than Sikhs are allowed to keep a beard only after getting the requisite permission.

‘Mughal Prince Tucy’ lashes out on AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, calls him ‘Bewakoof, and Gadha’

Prince Tucy said that when the people of Hyderabad are dealing with horrific floods, MP Asaduddin Owaisi is busy doing poll campaign in Bihar.

Karnataka HC grants bail to Congress MLA’s relative Naveen who was accused of ‘blasphemy’ by Islamic mobs for Facebook comment

Naveen was booked under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 of the Information Technology Act over his alleged derogatory comment regarding Prophet Mohammed on Facebook.

Is Modi govt giving Coronavirus vaccines for ‘free’ only to Bihar? No, that’s not how it works

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday while releasing the BJP manifesto in Bihar for upcoming elections said that the BJP promises free coronavirus vaccines in Bihar, whenever the vaccine is made available.

West Bengal: TMC workers attack BJP workers with lathis in Bardhaman for taking out a rally in support of farm bills

In the video that has gone viral on social media, it can be seen how TMC workers unleashed attacks on BJP workers with sticks

‘Not a serious crime’: Islamic scholar defends Muslim man who beheaded the French teacher, says it is not something he should be punished for

Normalising the beheading incident, the Islamic scholar said that the only punishment for insulting the Prophet is death and 'ideally' it should have been carried out by the Islamic State.

Sweden joins other European countries to ban China’s Huawei, ZTE from upcoming 5G networks, calls China biggest threat

Sweden has become the latest country to ban Chinese telecom groups Huawei and ZTE from its 5G mobile networks.

Eros Now apologises for publishing vulgar Hinduphobic content on Navratri

After netizens outraged over vulgar posts on Navratri, Eros Now issued an apology.

Government of India issues warning to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over misrepresentation of Indian map

Govt tells Twitter that any attempt to disrespect sovereignty and integrity of India is totally unacceptable and also unlawful

INS Kavaratti: ‘Made in India’ ASW stealth corvette to be commissioned into Indian Navy today. All you need to know

INS Kavaratti is the last of the four Kamorta class indigenously built ASW stealth corvettes.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
465,858FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe