Tribute article – Zaman Khan: LGBT community need our compassion, not victimisation

This interview was conducted with the late Tan Sri Zaman Khan back in April 2021. FocusM is rehashing this piece as a tribute to the veteran cop.

FOLLOWING constant attacks on the lesbian, gay lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, a veteran police officer urged the Malaysians to show compassion to their fellow human beings.

“As long as they don’t break the law, don’t victimise them. They are also creation of the Almighty God. Let them live a decent life,” former Bukit Aman CID chief Tan Sri Zaman Khan told FocusM, in an interview.

Earlier this month, Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Zulkifli Al-Bakri said that the Government is mulling to empower the Syariah courts (Act 355) to allow heavier punishments to be meted out against the LGBT community.

He defended the move saying that LGBT culture goes against Islam and basic human nature.

The late Tan Sri Zaman Khan

“We must work towards harmony, goodness and allow people to live comfortably without feeling unease,” he was reported saying.

Zulkifli’s statement drew ire from various quarters, which is also a stark contrast to the former’s previous soft approach towards the LGBT when he was serving as the Federal Territories Mufti.

Zaman, who is also Yayasan Ihtimam Malaysia’s deputy chairman, said that he has worked with many from the community and found them to be creative and productive members of the society.

Citing examples, he said that a member of the LGBT community was once employed as a cook at the Johor Palace decades ago.

Zaman added that his foundation also helped several members of LGBT community to open up stalls in Kelantan, where they serve lovely local delicacies there.

“At our foundation, we teach them how to live life with dignity and also secure them employment opportunities.

“So, authorities should find ways to help them fend for themselves, instead of using the sledgehammer treatment,” he opined, adding his foundation also helped some of them to travel to Mecca.

On that note, Zaman urged employers to allow LGBT to work at their organisations, just like anyone else, provided they meet the academic and work experience required.

“During my time as a police officer, I was very strict but at the same time, I also showed compassion to the vulnerable community. So, we must have that sense in dealing with certain issue,” he remarked. – Sept 11, 2021

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