Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 27 January 2016

DAP’s ‘Superman’’s homophobic comments against a columnist has rightly been condemned by progressive Malaysians. Diversity, an NGO advocating gender equality and sexuality freedom, was among those that took DAP’s Superman to task for the serial attacks on the columnist on social media. Diversity has pointed out that this was not the first time that DAP’s Superman has verbally assaulted others using homophobic language derogatory to the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) community.

While DAP’s Superman has been forced to make an apology, he has been at pains to stress that “it has nothing to do with DAP.” The gallant party saver has even posted his photo with DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang saying that he will assume all the guilt.

According to Diversity, despite the apology, DAP’s Superman did not rectify the homophobic remarks he had made. To date, the DAP top leadership has said nothing.

Can the DAP top leadership so easily dissociate themselves from their rabid homophobic Superman? Hasn’t DAP’s Superman been the party’s pitbull that tours the country together with other top leaders and plays the role of hitman that hurls obscenities at political opponents with the full approval of the top DAP leadership? The public can just google in Chinese and see for themselves the role that DAP’s Superman has played in DAP ceramahs.

What is the vision for Malaysia that DAP leaders “dare to dream”? Is it a liberal, progressive and social democratic society that suddenly comes into place when the DAP has captured state power? Meanwhile are homophobic demagogic pitbulls like Superman merely a means to this end when they realize their “Malaysian dream”. Or will this dream only include a society in which “real, strong and genuine men” are homophobic red necks?

Incidentally, for all their support for Anwar Ibrahim throughout his sodomy conviction, does the DAP have a policy on the colonial era sodomy laws of this country? Does the party have a position on the right of Malaysians to sexuality freedom, especially that of the LGBT community? The right to sexuality includes the right to express one’s sexuality and to be free from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. This right is based on the universality of human rights and the inalienable nature of rights belonging to every person by virtue of being human. Homophobia has been condemned in most democratic countries as an unacceptable violation of human dignity.

If the DAP does have a position on this right to express one’s sexuality, that is all the more reason their top leaders should step out and condemn the backward thinking of their Superman. The DAP top leaders must understand that, as Superman’s father had admonished him, “with great power comes great responsibility…”

That responsibility for the top DAP leadership starts with an open apology to the aggrieved columnist and Malaysians for the rabid snaps by their homophobic Superman.