A Malaysian university is holding a competition inviting students to submit ideas for converting LGBT students.
Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang is promoting “a campaign to invite friends who have [a] disorder in sexual orientation to return to their natural nature in a worthwhile way”, Pink News has reported.
Participants are invited to enter by submitting a poster or video on how to convert students and help them “return to Islam”.
Trans activist Thilaga Sulathireh said the contest was an example of a growing trend towards religious efforts to convert LGBT people in Malaysia.
“It’s not an isolated incident,” she said.
“It’s part of a series of anti-LGBT and state-sponsored things that are happening.”
Abdul Hadi Radzi, one of the student organisers, said the aim was to “correct” LGBT people rather than further marginalise them.
“We are trying to educate people,” he said.
“This is our view—to correct LGBT. Not to persecute. Not to condemn them.
“We want to help. We love them.”
Earlier this year a Malaysian newspaper printed a “how to spot a gay” guide, which included signs such as beards and gym use for gay men, and hugging and holding hands for lesbians.
The Malaysian government last year revealed plans for a program of conversion ‘therapy’ for trans women.
Government official Ghazali Taib said the program would be voluntary.
“The government’s concept is not force,” he said.
“[We] give them a path to make the best choices for their lives.”