Numan Afifi’s Resignation Is A Test To Syed Saddiq’s LGBT Support

Syed Saddiq (Image: Instagram)

All eyes are on Malaysia’s current Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman after several reports on the appointment of Numan Afifi as the ministry’s press officer.

RELATED: 5 Things To Know About Syed Saddiq: Youngest Youth Minister

The matter only started to spiral out of control after people started to point out that Numan Afifi is a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the president of Pelangi, who organised the Big Gay Iftar. Aside from advocating for the human rights of LGBT people, Numan has also been playing an active role to push for youth empowerment, voter education and all kinds of activism.

In an official statement, Numan confirmed that he was only trying to help out Syed in his time of need before the actual press officer appointment takes places in the near future.

Both Syed Saddiq and Numan received backlash on social media, especially from the opposition propagandists revolved around homophobia and concerns over the minister’s judgement. Syed Saddiq acknowledged the sentiment on Twitter and reminds the public that what had happened does not affect their friendship at all.

Although it may seem like the end of it, the treatment Numan has endured since the news went viral just goes to show how far we are from Pakatan Harapan’s promised “inclusive” society.

Syed Saddiq’s decision not to speak up on the matter to defend his friend resulted in many Malaysians to express their disappointment over how the situation turned out – even activist Siti Kasim had something to say to our minister. If anyone was to be able to speak up on matters in relation to the LGBT community, the younger generation had grand hopes that Syed Saddiq would be that guy in parliament to speak his mind as he took on the role as Youth and Sports minister.

It was a true test for Syed Saddiq as a newly-minted, let alone youngest, minister, on the cabinet as he must be able to stay true to his words as an influential figure and be clear on his principles to be aligned with the “New Malaysia” everyone’s talking about.

There’s a lot to learn and here’s hoping the conversations we have today will make big changes for tomorrow. In the words of Numan:

“Hopefully we get to live as a community in Malaysia that cherishes diversity without prejudices.”