The Greens have called on the federal government to raise concerns with Malaysia over the country’s oppression and persecution of LGBTI people.

Two Malaysian women were recently fined and sentenced to a caning in Malaysia’s north for having sex with each other.

The women, who are 22 and 32, were charged under sharia law, fined 3,300 ringit – around $1,100 AUD – and sentenced to six strokes of the cane, a sentence due to be carried out today.

And earlier this year, a Malaysian university held a competition inviting students to submit ideas for converting LGBTI students.

Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang promoted “a campaign to invite friends who have [a] disorder in sexual orientation to return to their natural nature in a worthwhile way”.

The recent LGBTI crackdown also saw the detention of 20 men in a gay club who were ordered into counselling for ‘illicit behaviour’, and the brutal beating of a trans woman on the street.

Greens Senator Janet Rice said Australia is in a powerful position to advocate for the rights of LGBTI people.

“Australia is a leader in the Asia Pacific region and we have strong trade links with Malaysia,” she said.

“The Australian government must act in light of this chilling state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBTI people.

“I call on the federal government and the new Foreign Minister Marise Payne to immediately call on the Malaysian government to stop this attack on LGBTI rights.

“Our government has the responsibility to use its considerable influence to end this horrific persecution.”

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