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SOCIAL PROBLEMS: Deputy education minister says he is not involved in the circular
THE Education Ministry yesterday denied it had anything to do with guidelines it allegedly distributed to schools to enable teachers and parents to identify behaviour associated with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) group among students.
In a statement made yesterday in its official Facebook page, the ministry said that it did not approve of the circulation of any such guidelines in schools.
The statement said it was, however, concerned with social problems afflicting the community and that it offers direct and indirect assistance for any students to help them avoid any social ill.
The ministry said a seminar on the LGBT issue, which was held in Penang on Sept 13 and attended by Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, was organised by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Puad told the New Sunday Times he had not seen the purported guidelines, nor was he involved in its inception.
"I am not aware of these guidelines and its existence. Perhaps there was confusion over the matter when the issue on LGBT was being explained during the seminar, but there were no guidelines given out."
Puad added that he hoped the media would clarify the matter with the organisers and not confuse the public further.
"The parent-teacher associations that were present at the seminar had also denied making these guidelines."
The guidelines, which were reported by a Chinese daily, had sparked outrage among the public and much debate on online media sites.
It was reported that the guidelines listed signs on how to spot a lesbian or a gay, including their attire and preferences for others of the same sex.