A Malaysian official recently declared 1,450 gay people have been “cured” in government-funded spiritual camps, according to the Malay Mail. The “mukhayyam” programs are funded by the government’s Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
Mohd Izwan Md Yusof claims the modern rise of the LGBT community is due to the internet.
“Youths now have easier access to the Internet, social media and mobile apps on LGBT, they are watching videos they are not supposed to watch about LGBT,” said the Jakim official.
Same-sex boarding schools were also targeted.
“These same-sex boarding schools meant the students spend a lot of time with the same sex and they might be unaware of the inappropriate influences they are exposed to especially at a young age,” Yusof stated.
The spiritual camp’s methods include suggesting to marry the opposite gender, and abstaining from food to curb sexual desires, according to Gay Star News.
Pink News reports gay sex remains banned under a British Colonial-Era penal code, and that persecution of LGBT people is furthered by the state-level form of Sharia law employed in Malaysia.
The Daily Beast presents the story of Hans How, a Malaysian 24 year old who experienced violence at his same-sex boarding school as a direct result of the anti-LGBT climate.
How stated “We need anti-discriminatory structures in place to help protect Malaysians from all walks of life.”