Ministry’s raid on Swatch gets thumbs-up from ex-gay man

THE Home Ministry’s recent raid of the Swatch watch outlets has received the thumbs-up of at least one Christian pastor whose church and Christian ministry in Melaka reaches out to the ex-LGBTQAI+ community.

In an earlier report, The Edge reported that officers from the Home Ministry had raised multiple Swatch stores in the country.

Pastor Edmund Smith, who describes himself as an ex-transwoman who later became a gay man and eventually an ex-gay man, said that he is supportive of the government’s raid on Swatch stores over its rainbow Pride Collection.

“There is a difference between being LGBTQAI+, being pro-LGBTQAI+ and being LGBTQAI+ -friendly,” he said.

“I think the government did just the right thing if the raid was targeted at the pro-LGBTQAI+ brand.”

Smith, who grew up in the Portuguese settlement in Melaka said he may be LGBTQAI+ friendly; however, this does not necessarily make him a pro-LGBTQAI+.

“Yes, I am super-friendly to the LGBTQAI+ community and individuals who profess to belong to the community but after leaving the gay community, I feel life is more meaningful now because I found real love,” he said.

Smith was living a homosexual lifestyle for more than ten years between 1983 and 1994. In 1996, he and his wife, Amanda Amutha Perumal got married, and three years later, they decided to set up the “Real Love Ministry” (RLM), and “She is My Brother” (SIMB) in 2003.

Both RLM and SIMB are two Christian programmes of which the former is for those who identify themselves as former lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQ) community.

“These are people who need someone to speak to, especially people who understand them, and can empathise with them,” Smith said.

For this reason, the second programme SIMB trains people to become befrienders who would journey with the “sexually-broken”.

Smith and his wife have since raised two children of their own. “Amanda and my two teenagers are heterosexuals,” he said. “This dispels altogether the idea that the tendency towards homosexuality is in one’s genes.”

The couple have since helped many former LGBTQAI+ members turn over a new leaf. They conduct their regular Victory Meetings (VMeet) once a month on Zoom at 7.30pm every third Saturday of the month.

Members of the public who would like to understand Sexuality and the Journey of Recovery can register with Pastor Amanda at +6012-6706847.

To quell public fears, the advisor of RLM and SIMB said that the idea of the government going on the more ridiculous path of raiding the rainbows or other products with the rainbow colours should not even arise at all. – May 24, 2023

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