MALAYSIA: In a recent development, the Johor government has unveiled plans to establish a groundbreaking rehabilitation centre to address issues surrounding individuals considered deviant from Islamic teachings and those engaged in same-sex relationships within the country.
This initiative, announced by State Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid during the Johor State Assembly sitting on 29 November, is notably aimed at providing assistance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and is set to be the first of its kind in Malaysia.
The government has allocated RM400,000 (approximately US$84,000) for the centre’s establishment, with operational commencement anticipated in July next year.
Fared Khalid emphasized that the centre’s purpose is not only to assist those who have deviated from their akidah (faith) but also to rehabilitate individuals practicing same-sex relationships, as reported by New Straits Times.
The focus is on guiding and redirecting these groups onto the right path, he added.
It was also reported that the preparations for the centre are underway, including the establishment of offices and training hostels for both male and female participants.
Netizens divided over Johor’s LGBT rehab centre
However, the announcement has not been well-received by a majority of netizens who express disagreement with the plan for the rehabilitation centre.
Many argue that homosexuality is not a sickness and, therefore, cannot be cured.
“LGBT is not a disease, you cannot cure it as if it was a fever!”
One netizen commented, echoing the sentiment that taxpayer money is being wasted on an initiative deemed futile and unnecessary.
Some netizens suggested that instead of focusing on same-sex relationships, the government should prioritize establishing rehabilitation centres for other social issues, with one suggesting a centre for individuals engaging in unauthorized and dangerous motorcycle racing on public roads, known as “mat rempit.”
In addition, some individuals suggested that creating a rehabilitation centre addressing a broader spectrum of social issues would be more effective than solely concentrating on same-sex relationships.
A minority of netizens expressed the view that such a rehabilitation centre wouldn’t contribute to preventing homosexuality but might inadvertently strengthen it.
Another perspective emerged, claiming that it could become a gathering place for homosexual individuals to expand their social networks.
On the flip side, there were those who voiced support for the idea, considering it a positive step.
One netizen is convinced that the Johor government is making a commendable decision by prioritizing the establishment of a rehabilitation centre specifically for individuals dealing with issues related to homosexuality.
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