Two Malaysian states are moving to further increase the punishment of homosexuality in their enforcement of Sharia law. New laws in Pahang and Malacca would increase penalties beyond the current provisions allowing for up to 20 years in prison and caning. What is interesting is that the laws are designed to guarantee consecutive sentencing so that the local punishment would be in addition to the federal punishment.
Malacca’s chief minister, Mohd Ali Rustam, insists the expanded punishments are designed to “deter” homosexuality. He criticized human rights advocates for allowing sinful activities and said that only Islamic law guarantees social harmony: “So many people like to promote human rights, even up to the point they want to allow lesbian activities and homosexuality. . . In Islam, we cannot do all this. It is against Islamic law.”
He said that new law would allow the government greater ability to arrest homosexuals and “bring them to our sharia court. Then we can charge them for promoting or supporting these illegal activities.”
What is interesting is that only 60% of the country’s 28 million population are Muslims. I had thought the percentage was higher. Thus, forty percent of the public is being increasingly forced to live according to the religious values of other people.