KUALA LUMPUR - There was no bad intention involved in the distribution of "guidelines" during a seminar on how to spot lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) tendencies in children, said Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd.
The organisation's event coordinator Hasnul Hadi Abdullah Sani said the seminar, during which the guidelines were given out, was supposed to be an "awareness programme for parents and teachers on the LGBT issue".
"We never meant any harm. There was no bad intention (when we organised the seminar). We were just doing this for the good of society and the nation," he said when contacted here yesterday.
Denying that the leaflets distributed during the event were "guidelines", Hasnul Hadi said these merely offered definitions of what made up LGBT and suggestions on how to cope with the "LGBT problem".
He was responding to criticisms levelled against the organisation and the Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parent-Teacher Associations for distributing the brochures during the seminar in Penang last Thursday.
According to the leaflet, LGBT tendencies could be spotted among boys wearing tight-fitting V-neck T-shirts and carrying large sling bags, and girls who enjoy the company of their own gender.
Although the Education Ministry had denied endorsing it, the list of supposed LGBT traits sparked negative reaction among social media users and drew the attention of foreign news agencies.
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism vice-president Rev Dr Thomas Philips said he was happy that the ministry did not approve of such purported guidelines.
"While different religions have their own views on the matter, it is wrong to categorise people in such a way," he said, adding that the list presented a wrong image of others.
"We need to recognise that there are people who have different sexual orientations. Religious leaders should look into helping these people and move forward," Rev Thomas said.