(File pix) The population of homosexuals and transgenders in the country recorded a sharp increase over the years, according to the Islamic Development Department (Jakim), citing statistics from various sources. Archive photo for illustration purposes only. AFP Photo

GEORGE TOWN: The population of gays and transgenders in the country recorded a sharp increase over the years, according to the Islamic Development Department (Jakim), citing statistics from various sources.

From about 173,000 gays in 2013, the figure has increased by almost 100 per cent to 310,000 this year.

As for transgenders, the number has risen to 30,000 this year compared to 10,000 back in 1988.

Jakim’s family, social and community development deputy director Dr Mohd Izwan Md Yusof said the statistics, depicting an increasing trend, are a cause for concern.

Speaking at a seminar on '2018's Culture and Confusion of Contemporary Lifestyle', here, today, Dr Mohd Izwan is of the opinion that many pick up the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture while in boarding schools.

“For example, many of the young boys, expecially those between Year Six and Form Three, are still very much immature, and they can’t tell the right touches from the wrong ones.

“In some cases, these young boys, upon entering boarding schools, are also sodomised by their seniors. And soon, they become addicted to the act (of being sodomised) and slowly turn into gays.

“As such, I feel that boarding schools should only be allowed for Form Four (16 years old) and above. That, however, is my personal opinion and can be discussed further,” he told newsmen at the day-long seminar.

Present to open the seminar was Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman.

Elaborating, Dr Mohd Izwan said all stakeholders should be roped in to discuss the issue pertaining to boarding schools further, with the Prime Minister’s Department taking the lead.

Meanwhile, Dr Mohd Izwan said many factors contributed to the rise in the LGBT population, including easy access to social media and websites.

“This is where strict supervision from family comes in. In the past, we were worried when our child went out and failed to return home. Now, we are worried when they lock themselves in their rooms for hours without coming out.

“Another contributing factor is the childcare pattern, whether one is fatherless, lacks love or over-protective families.

“Then there is bullying or ridiculing when ‘soft’ friends are regarded as ‘sotong’, pornography and surrounding,” he added.

Jakim, he said, had in the past five years, managed to lead some 1,450 LGBTs ‘back to the right path’ through its 'mukhayyam' programme.

“We will continue to help and guide these groups of people,” he noted.

Ahmad Zakiyuddin, meanwhile, said the Penang government’s stand is not to support the LGBT community but respect their right to be different.

“Even Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stressed that Malaysia could not accept the LGBT culture and same-sex marriage even though they are considered as basic human rights in the West,” he stressed.

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