Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) has always been an issue in Malaysia. Last year, Numan Afifi, the press secretary for Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq, resigned from the position after receiving pressure from the members of the public for his sexual orientation. In another incident, two women from Terengganu were canned after got caught for performing lesbian act.
As a Muslim majority country, being an LGBT is unacceptable. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad himself has said that LGBT culture and same-sex marriage will not be recognize in Malaysia. Recently, LGBT issue in Malaysia spike again after the Women’s March, which was held on March 9.
Consequently, the keyword “LGBT” became trending in Twitter.
The network showcases the Twitter activity of the keyword “LGBT” on March 9 and 10 in Malaysia. As an overview, the network can be divided into five separate clusters. But generally, the influencers in each cluster response negatively to LGBT.
The biggest cluster is the pink group with the influencer Najwan Halimi (Kota Anggerik assemblyman). He tweeted that the people of Malaysia are opposing LGBT. Thus, the community shall not be asking for LGBT rights. Subsequently, he received mixed reactions from his tweet.
Next is the blue cluster which has @maskbiru ask their primary influencer. He also opposed to the LGBT community. He said that Malaysian culture and religions does not accept the practice of LGBT. Like Najwan Halimi, @maskbiru’s tweet also received mixed responses.
Meanwhile, the orange cluster has @SyedMuhdFadli as their main influencer. His tweet associated the LGBT march with another trending topic, insulting Prophet Muhammad. He added that the world suffers not because of the violence from the bad people, but because of the silence from the good people. Again, his negative tweet on LGBT attained conflicting reactions.
On the other hand, the orange group consist of media as influencer, @501Awani. Twitter users responded to the news on Religious Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa statement on LGBT community misused the democratic space to voice their agenda. Another news that received high feedback is regarding Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim’s revelation of launching an investigation on the LGBT march after receiving numerous police reports.
Whereas, the purple group does not really have any influencer as the cluster is widely segregated. Thus, their opinions on LGBT issue is also divided.
Overall, there is zero pro-LGBT influencer in Twitter that attract huge crowd. Hence, most of the time, the pro-LGBT users will respond to the anti-LGBT influencers to voice their support for the LGBT community.