Utusan: Detecting LGBT candidates tough, cops ‘risk’ recruiting them

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — The police may “risk” accepting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals into the police force as it is hard to “detect their characteristics”, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia’s editors said today.

Using the collective pseudonym of Awang Selamat, the paper’s editors said they agreed with the police’s decision to refuse LGBT recruits, claiming that religious principles and noble values remain central in the country.

“But the reality is, security forces such as PDRM is also exposed to the risk of LGBT candidates slipping in as has happened in other organisations,” Awang Selamat wrote in the paper’s weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia, using the Malay acronym for the police force.

“It is difficult to detect the characteristics of some of the LGBT [candidates] during interview sessions and the probation period, as well as in tough training.”

Awang Selamat also said this was the challenge that has to be tackled in a world where the LGBT community is allegedly growing in both numbers and influence.

“Apart from policies and tighter recruitment and the wider awareness among society, pray that the LGBT situation in the West will not strike this country,” it concluded.

Earlier in the opinion piece, Awang Selamat also said that Malaysia does not have to follow other countries’ acceptance of LGBT recruits.

“The development in several Western countries that opened up recruitment to this group and the latest in India involving the acceptance of an LGBT candidate as police officer, is not a motivation that requires Malaysia to take a similar step,” it said.

Yesterday, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said that those who are openly LGBT will not be admitted into the police force even if they qualify for the job.

Though LGBT people are not discriminated from becoming police officers in Western countries like the US, Noor Rashid said that the “LGBT culture” cannot be accepted here owing to community and cultural sentiments.

He was responding to a question if the Malaysian police force would start accepting applications from openly gay or transgender people, in line with changing times and the growing acceptance of such people in the West and even in India.

The local LGBT community remains in the shadows, particularly Muslims, fearing persecution from religious authorities in the predominantly Muslim country that has religious laws prohibiting same-sex relationships and cross-dressing.- MMO