Sunday, November 6, 2011

Police Act Against Seksualiti Merdeka

This year’s edition of “Seksualiti Merdeka” (November 09-13, 2011) was rudely stopped in its tracks by the police. For Malaysians who don’t know, Seksualiti Merdeka 2011, like all their previous stagings, is a movement championing the freedom for sexual orientation and gender identity. Not only did the police slap the organizers with an immediate ban but they also raided The Annexe Gallery (Central Market, Kuala Lumpur) where the event was held.

Did you know that the Seksualiti Merdeka festival has been held annually since 2008 and this year’s events included workshops, book launches, an art exhibition and performances? That this same program was unveiled by Marina Mahathir in 2009? And why is it that the police only took action this year? Are they being used again?

Sorry to disappoint the priggish puritans but Seksualiti Merdeka is not about promoting promiscuity nor does it organize gay parades – the idea is to create awareness, to enlighten and educate the public about sexual minorities in this country and hopefully, this can unshackle the manacles of discrimination, harassment and violence which are directed against them. The reason for their persecution is frighteningly simple – that they are different from supposedly normal people – as if there is such a thing as normal people!

Festival organizer, Pang Khee Teik pleaded: “All we are asking is for our side to be heard. That’s not illegal...The chaos that they are accusing us of is actually perpetuated by those who are trying to shut us up.

“We are pleased to know that Seksualiti Merdeka is as important as Bersih that it needs to be banned,” he added.

The point is, why must we be so full of hate for our fellow Malaysians? Doesn’t 1Malaysia embrace them too? Why can’t we learn to respect those with diverse sexuality orientations and gender identities?

I spotted this posting on boingboing.net on Thursday. The Twin Rivers Police Association in California, USA had been selling T-shirts that showed a child behind bars along with the humorous text, "U Raise 'Em, We Cage 'Em." When it was pointed out to the association that such shirts "could validate feelings of mistrust" for the Twin Rivers Police force, the association stopped selling the shirt.

The above illustrate that the police are so capable of showing off their stupidity! Then again, calling them stupid would be an insult to stupid people.

In the EPL match between Liverpool and Swansea City, the Reds’ performance again was disappointing! The final result was a goalless draw. And we have squandered eight home points already. I am not happy.

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