Gay Guide Malaysia

Malaysia stands under heavy influence of Islam and homosexuality is technically illegal: with a punishment for homosexual acts (oral/anal) of up to 20 years imprisonment. As foreigner you need not fear these drastic measures. Large parts of Malaysia are subject to a dual legal system made up of state and Sharia courts. The system was partly challenged in 2012 at the Supreme Court by four transwomen who claimed that it violates constitutional provisions guaranteeing personal liberty and the freedom to express one's identity. But the court still ruled that the established practice is constitutional. It is also surprising that under these conditions a gay scene has developed. Due to discretion the police and the general public tend to ignore its existence. Even a gay organization exists, however with little support. Prostitution is forbidden but widely exists. The "Seksualiti Merdeka" (freedom of sexuality) festival, held annually to promote diversity since 2008, was banned in November 2011 after politicians and religious Muslims had denounced it as "immoral". It looks as if the opponents of the festival saw a need for the ban after the festival had generated greater media attention by way of a PR campaign in the previous year. Despite these restrictions one can have a wonderful holiday in Malaysia, the people are generally extremely friendly and the infrastructure is well developed. Much of the country is mountainous, tropical rain forest and rice paddies. The islands of Penang (Pearl of the East), Langkawi and Pangkor as well as the east coast peninsula have the most attractive beaches in the entire far-east region.

Islands in Malaysia

Penang

Cities in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

Name: Persekutan Tanah Malaysia · Malaysie · Malasia · Malesia
Location: Southeast Asia
Initials: MYS
International country code: 60 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00
Language: Malay, English, Chinese, Tamil
Area: 329,733 km² / 127,320 sq mi.
Currency: 1 Malayan Ringgit (RM) = 100 Sen
Population: 29,240,000
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Religions: 61% Muslim, 19% Buddhist, 9% Christian, 6% Hindu
Climate: Tropical climate. Avoid the rainy season (Nov-Jan) on Malaysia's east coast if you want to enjoy the beaches.

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