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Malaysia: Group Aims to "Wipe Out" Homosexuals

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

malaysia3.gif - 18.15 K Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad A new Malaysian organization called the People's Voluntary Anti- Homosexual Movement (Pasrah) hopes to "wipe out" gays, local newspapers reported last week.

The group is calling for severe penalties against gay sex and the closure of gay nightclubs. Organizers claim there are 24,000 homosexuals in Kuala Lumpur.

The organization was quickly denounced by the human-rights group Suaram and by Marina Mahathir, daughter of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and head of the Malaysian AIDS Council.

"Hate campaigns such as that advocated by Pasrah only inflame prejudices and make anti-social acts such as harassment of certain groups acceptable," Ms. Mahathir said.

Local newspapers said Pasrah was formed by supporters of the prime minister, who recently fired Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and oversaw his arrest for corruption and homosexual sodomy. Anwar has denied the charges and said he was framed by Mr. Mahathir who, he charged, is threatened by Anwar's popularity. Anwar's firing and arrest led to weeks of rioting by his supporters. malaysia1.gif - 4.99 K Anwar Ibrahim

In a press release, Suaram said Pasrah's attempt to "incite discrimination and condemnation of a minority group is a misguided form of political support for the prime minister."

"When a country is facing a crisis, there is often a tendency to scapegoat groups of people to deflect society from the real issues that need to be dealt with," Coordinator Elizabeth Wong stated."

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