Deputy PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Malaysia’s ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has lashed out at those who promote tolerance of LGBT people as being “anti-Islamic” and “of the devil”.

The issue of homosexuality was one of the focuses of the UMNO national conference which took place last week.

According to Bikyamasr, one delegate called for a homosexual rehabilitation centre to be set up to “re-educate” gays and lesbians and to integrate them back into society. Another urged that the high school system be used to teach youngsters to reject homosexuality.

The party also condemned members of the opposition who have called for acceptance and for the recognition of the human rights of LGBT people.

Ariffin Mohd Arif, a delegate from Kimanis, described pluralism and liberalism as a “teaching of the Devil.”

He went on to say: “…we must take action against these people. Our actions must be strict, and we must not budge.”

The UMNO-led Malaysian government has shown an increasingly radical anti-gay stance over the last year.

In September the country’s education ministry backed seminars and print guidelines by the Malaysian Teachers Foundation to help teachers and parents “identify” gay children in order to stop “the spread of the unhealthy lifestyle”.

In April, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that more counsellors needed to be trained to curb homosexuality in his country.

Last month, police arrested around 30 men in raids on two illegal gay spas in Malacca.

Homosexuality is criminalised under federal law in Muslim-majority Malaysia, with punishments including fines, whippings and imprisonment of up to 20 years.

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