Numan Afifi’s resignation backfires puts Youth minister in the spot


PETALING JAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman’s endearing attempt to break the barrier by asking people to call him “bro” instead of “Yang Berhormat” has backfired.

Soon after his press officer Numan Afifi Saadan was forced to resign due to his lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activism, #dontbrome (don’t call me bro) started to trend on Twitter in retaliation of Syed Saddiq’s alleged failure to defend Numan.

When Numan announced his resignation on Monday (July 9), the young minister responded with a short “goodbye” message on Twitter, saying that his “bro” Numan’s service has been invaluable.

LGBT activists said they voted for Pakatan Harapan in hopes of a more inclusive and tolerant society, but Syed Saddiq’s silence over the cyberbullying and discrimination that Numan faced over his sexual orientation was disappointing.

The controversy has pushed Syed Saddiq between a rock and a hard place.

Not only are liberal Malaysians disappointed at his silence, conservatives said he has betrayed them by supporting a gay person.

Many are demanding for Syed Saddiq to admit whether he had knowingly hired a gay activist into the Youth and Sports Ministry.

They insisted that it was inappropriate for a “champion of LGBT causes” to be a government staff member.

On Monday (July 9), Numan said he has no choice but to resign, as the backlash and threats have made it impossible for him to exercise his duties.


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