Teach LGBT issues before releasing guideline, says teachers’ union sec-gen
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — The issues of gender identity and sexual orientation should be included in the education system before the authorities come up with “proper guidelines”, said National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Loke Yim Pheng today.
Loke told reporters that while she could not comment on the controversial guideline on recognising lesbian and gay traits, as published by the Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd and Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parents and Teachers Associations, it was more important to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in education.
“I believe in education and not guidelines, so when the children are educated they will know how to think.
“I can’t just say that a guideline would help,” she said.
However, the union secretary-general added that a proper guideline should be developed to “lead them to the right path”.
“As far as I am concerned, the children have to be educated about it first and then given a proper guideline to lead them to the right path, not give them something like this (the current guideline) when the children don’t even understand what it is about,” Loke said.
She added that as this was a “sensitive issue”, a proper guideline should be developed with all sides giving their input on the matter.
“We should get the components involved — the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health — to study the proposal and come up with the right guideline,” Loke said.
Putrajaya was reported to have endorsed a list of identifiable gay and lesbian traits to schools and parents purportedly to prevent the spread of the phenomenon among teenagers, especially students.
The controversial guideline, listed by the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily, said that gay men have muscular bodies and like to show off by wearing V-neck and sleeveless clothes, prefer tight and light-coloured clothing, are attracted to men and like to carry big handbags similar to those used by women.
Lesbians are said to be attracted to women, like to eat, sleep and hang out in the company of other women and have no affection for men, according to the report.
Last week, national news agency Bernama reported that the Ministry of Education had never authorised nor endorsed the guidelines.