Malaysia: Outcry as Boys Sent to Anti-Gay Boot Camp
April 26, 2011
Advocates in Malaysia are worried that anti-AIDS efforts could be hurt by the news that the Terengganu state education department has ordered 66 boys to an anti-gay boot camp. The youths, who were labeled effeminate by their teachers, are to spend a week at the camp undergoing physical and religious education, and listening to motivational speakers. "It's crazy that the state itself is actively taking part in bullying and subjecting an already vulnerable group of students to further ridicule and torture," said rights activist Pang Kee Teik. This could have a chilling effect on HIV prevention efforts, said Raymond Tai of the PT Foundation. "It's getting difficult for us to do our outreach work at gay venues, as well as on the streets with sex workers and transgenders, simply because many of these people are very much underground now," he said. "So it's difficult for us to reach them, and even if we are able to reach them, there is a lot of harassment from the state authorities like the police, enforcement officers, religious officers."
Australian Broadcasting Corporation News
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