Malaysia has never had a reputation for being a particularly gay friendly country. And for good reason – gay sex remains illegal and is punishable by fines, whipping, or up to 20 years imprisonment.
A new survey, however, suggests attitudes are fast changing, especially amongst younger Malaysians.
The results showed that 83% of Malaysians aged 18 to 30 and 84% between the ages of 31 and 45 would accept gay friends or colleagues.
Older Malaysians, however were not so accepting. Half of respondents aged 46 to 60 and only 24% of those above 60 said they could not.
The survey was conducted by The Oriental Daily News following the US Supreme Court ruling which granted marriage equality to all US citizens.
While age was a key determinant to respondent’s attitudes towards homosexuality, so too was gender and educational attainment.
Women (81%) were more likely to accept LGBT friends and colleagues compared to 59% of men, while respondents with a university or college education (83%) were more accepting than the 59% of respondents who had only completed an elementary education.