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Malaysia launches ‘conversion therapy’ app to help gay people “abandon homosexual behaviour”

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Malaysia’s government has launched a ‘conversion therapy’ app which it said would help LGBTQ+ people “return to nature”. The app, which is called Hijrah Diri Homoseksualiti, was announced on 9 March by JAKIM, the country’s Department of Islamic Development. “Hijrah Diri is an application of JAKIM’s initiative with Yayasan Ihtimam Malaysia to help the LGBT community return to nature,” the federal government agency wrote on Twitter. “Currently only available in the Google Play Store.” JAKIM provided more details of Hijrah Diri Homoseksualiti in a follow up tweet, stating that it “contains an eBook that refers to the true experience of a gay man who migrated during Ramadan to abandon homosexual behaviour.” The description of it on the Google Play Store states that the app exists so that LGBTQ+ people can “overcome the problem of homosexuality” to “achieve real success in this world and the hereafter.” “It is a common sense approach based on self-awareness, mental and behavioural [sic] changes with how to understand and appreciate the beauty and grace of God,” it continues. ‘Conversion therapy’ is typically defined as any attempt at changing a person’s sexuality or gender identity, often involving techniques such as electroshock therapy or prayer.

It has been widely condemned by health experts all over the world, with some comparing it to torture. Among these are the National Health Service, World Health Organisation, World Psychiatric Association and the United Nations.

As such, the app has unsurprisingly been met with an overwhelmingly negative response online – with one person branding it as “despicable”. “Leave the gays alone, disgusting waste of tax payers money for bs hatred, may this organisation be dismantled ASAP

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