Padang mayor to enlist help from military to wipe out LGBT sickness

Tirto – January 23, 2019
Padang Mayor Mahyeldi Ansharullah (Republika)
Padang Mayor Mahyeldi Ansharullah (Republika)

Fadiyah Alaidrus – Padang Mayor Mahyeldi Ansharullah views Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people as a sickness that is caused by the environment and economic factors.

In order to deal with this, the Padang government will carry out investigative operations, arrests and involve the Indonesian military (TNI) in retraining LGBT people.

“We will carry out guidance in cooperation with the TNI. These children [LGBT people caught] in the operations, we will guide and train them, then we will cultivate their nationalism, we will cultivate their identity”, said Ansharullah speaking in Central Jakarta on Tuesday January 22.

Based on information that Ansharullah has received, LGBT is also caused by jinn [genies in Islamic mythology) or demons inhabiting their bodies.

“We will also involve ulama [Islamic clerics], because indeed from the information that we have received, the existence of LGBT or lesbianism is indeed because there is the influence of jinns and demons, so we will perform ruqyah [an Islamic exorcism] to prepare then to make them leave”, said Ansharullah.

In addition to this, Ansharullah will also take measures to minimalise the germination of LGBT. One of the ways will be through family education to explain the different activities of girls and boys.

“We have been holding education activities on shortcomings within families. They are male children but are given girl’s toys, given girl’s clothing, and visa versa”, he said.

Furthermore, we will separate girls’ and boys’ activities such as sport. According to Ansharullah, boys should not be allowed to dance in a swaying motion, they should choose dances which are strong and firm, such as silat [self-defense arts].

“Events which bring men and women together, an example of this being Uda dan Uni Sumbar [a West Sumatran talent quest for young women and men], now, that also has indications in that direction”, said Ansharullah.

For now, Ansharullah will not be enforcing sanctions against LGBT people in Padang because under Padang’s municipal regulations on public order, there are indeed no stipulations on punishments, so operations and guidance will be carried out instead. Ansharullah however still insists that Padang city rejects the presence of LGBT people.

Rising trend in persecution

Community Legal Aid (LBH Masyarakat) Director Ricky Gunawan says that there is a rising trend of persecution against LGBT people in Indonesia.

“In 2017/2018 it transformed in to real practices such as evictions, persecutions and discrimination, and the pattern of this discrimination is also now in recent months being manifested in forms such as regional regulations”, Gunawan told Tirto not long ago.

Gunawan predicts that this discrimination will become more tangible in 2019 because of the election factor. It is not impossible that the LBGT issue will become an electoral commodity for presidential and legislative candidates.

“We are worried that later in open mass [election] campaigning, that narratives and negative sentiments which tend to stigmatise and paint our friends in LBGT groups and other minorities in a bad light, will become even more widespread, because it is quite plausible that this is something that is very sellable”, said Gunawan.

Ansharullah’s statement that LGBT is caused by jinn or demons which must be exorcised, confirms Gunawan’s warning. Gunawan is indeed concerned that this negative stigma against LGBT people will be packaged into senseless fear mongering.

“For example linking it [immoral or LGBT behaviour] with natural disasters, so we must prey a lot, and this will be sold, it will sell. Yes, just like the law of [market] economics”, he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Wali Kota Padang Klaim Libatkan TNI untuk Menghapus LGBT”.]