BY NUR ASYIQIN MOHAMAD SALLEH, Straits Times
WORKERS’ Party (WP) MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap supports the Wear White campaign that opposes homosexuality and the gay rights Pink Dot event.
Mr Faisal, an MP in Aljunied GRC, said yesterday he backed the movement in his personal capacity “as a Muslim individual”.
Speaking to The Straits Times at his meet-the-people session in Bedok North, he said: “It has nothing to do with the party stand.”
“I support the movement because it’s my responsibility to show concern for my fellow Muslims, asking them to do some introspection on whether what they’re doing is in accordance with Islamic values. That’s the campaign’s main calling.”
His comments came in the wake of three photographs this week showing him wearing a white songkok (traditional headgear) and white jubah (ankle-length robe) alongside the campaign organisers and supporters at a mosque last Saturday night, the day of the Pink Dot gathering in Hong Lim Park.
The photos, posted online, have prompted talk about whether his stand represents the WP’s position on homosexuality.
WP chief Low Thia Khiang declined to comment last night when approached at his meet-the-people session.
The WP has not taken a position on homosexuality. Its leadership is divided on the issue, party chairman Sylvia Lim said in April at a Straits Times roundtable discussion. Hence, the WP, she added, had not pushed for the removal of Section 377A, which criminalises sex between men.
The photos with Mr Faisal were taken at the Ar-Raudhah Mosque in Bukit Batok, where he was attending the special terawih prayers to mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
Campaign leader Noor Deros had urged Muslims to wear white for the prayers.
On the eve of the prayers, its organisers said on Facebook they would be at Ar-Raudhah, and a group photo with supporters would be taken outside the mosque. In the end, a group of around 18 people were photographed inside the mosque.
The photos with Mr Faisal were posted past midnight on Sunday on the Wear White Facebook page. His personal Facebook account is tagged in one.
Another shows Mr Faisal standing with Wear White supporter Muhammad Shawal, who posted it on his Facebook page on Sunday with the comment: “Met my old buddy at Masjid Ar-Raudhah during terawih just now. I’m happy to see him #wearwhite and supporting the campaign.”
This photo drew a handful of comments, with one netizen, rilek1korner, on the website praising Mr Faisal for “bravely taking a moral position against homosexuality”, especially as the WP has “remained silent” on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. The netizen wrote: “It is commendable that he is speaking out against the LGBT threat and leading his party on this issue.”