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Malaysian Police Raid Gay Sex Party at Gym, Arrest 37 Men

Thirty-seven men between the ages of 20 and 45 were arrested at a fitness center in northern Penang island on Sunday in Malaysia, where sodomy is illegal. Those arrested included a Chinese national and a man from the UK.

PenangAccording to the AP, "Police found used condoms strewn all over the floor, seven tubes of lubrication jelly, 20 gay magazines, four pornographic VCDs and six boxes of new condoms... Investigations are ongoing but he said the operator of the premises could lose his business license if he is found to have abused it, and the men, who have been released, could be charged with committing unnatural sex acts."

Said police chief Azam Abdul Hamid: "Based on our information, the center was regularly used for these gay activities. This is against our culture, our way of life."

Police say they were offered a tip which led to the raid. Those arrested face the possibility of 20 years in prison and lashing.

Malaysian police say they broke up gay sex party, arrested 37 men [ap via iht]

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Comments

  1. Hate to sound like a prude, but I'm glad they were arrested. I live in Chelse, NYC, and this type of behaviour is not uncommon. Hey.. if you want to use the gym as a dating pool, great for you!!! But.. for the sake of the rest of us, take your trick home. Nobody wants to step in what's left over from your trist!

    Posted by: mike | Nov 6, 2007 8:57:16 AM


  2. C'mon Mike, from the vacuousness of your comment you clearly are a stereotypical inhabitant from Chelsea (or "Chelse", as you say)(and it's also "tryst") - the point is that these men are obliged to conceal their sexual identities and these sorts of gatherings are one of the few outlets they have for meeting other gay men and participating in consensual sexual activities (and hey, I'm not condoning these activities either - orgies are not my thing) - living in the "liberal" West, at least we are not criminalised for private parties of these sorts - and use your brain, the sex paraphenalia was scattered around because they were in the midst of the orgy, they most definitely would have removed the evidence once the party was over, knowing what lay in store for them if they were discovered... Remember mate, it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

    Posted by: johnnzboy | Nov 6, 2007 9:08:15 AM


  3. Congrats, Mike! You just posted one of the dumbest comments ever seen on Towleroad. You compared Chelsea to Malaysia, where being gay is a crime and punishable by public lashings.

    Go back to sipping your double-mocha steroid coffee and talking on your iPhone, and let the smart people discuss global human rights violations.

    Posted by: crispy | Nov 6, 2007 9:39:56 AM


  4. Um, if gay sex is a crime there, it's not like they have normal outlets to meet and greet to speak. And if there were that many men there doing it I doubt this was a gym as opposed to a sex club. At least they were using condoms.

    Posted by: scott1607 | Nov 6, 2007 9:49:07 AM


  5. I'm glad gay people are being oppressed halfway across the world because the cruising at my local gym really distracts me from my workout ;)

    Posted by: Meeg | Nov 6, 2007 9:49:27 AM


  6. Malaysia is a democracy with a lot of promise. I hate to see this kind of police action there. I hope the alleged criminals get off lightly. They're in my prayers. I've been to the gay bars in Kuala Lumpur, but I suppose Penang is a whole different place. Anyone been there?

    Posted by: Marc | Nov 6, 2007 9:56:18 AM


  7. Two posters beat me to it, but still, it bears repeating:

    Mike, you are a complete idiot. Malaysia ain't Chelsea, you utter moron. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that 37 men were having sex in the gym *while it was open*. This was almost certainly an after-hours party that was raided by the police.

    You make me ashamed to have ever lived in Chelsea.

    Posted by: Dan E | Nov 6, 2007 10:01:33 AM


  8. Increasingly, major US universities are forming research and teaching alliances with these Asian countries (like Singapore) or countries in the Middle East (like UAE) which have fiercely anti-gay policies. Increasingly, I think we need to speak out against these alliances -- if a university wants to uphold a nondiscrimination policy, they can't be doing business with countries like this.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 6, 2007 10:15:16 AM


  9. Increasingly, major US universities are forming research and teaching alliances with these Asian countries (like Singapore) or countries in the Middle East (like UAE) which have fiercely anti-gay policies. Increasingly, I think we need to speak out against these alliances -- if a university wants to uphold a nondiscrimination policy, they can't be doing business with countries like this.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 6, 2007 10:16:02 AM


  10. Although I agree with ANONYMOUS that Universities should be constantly monitored and if needed "debriefed" whenever there seems to be an alliance with such governments, I also have to acknowledge that such alliances are sometimes needed to the greater good (especially when it comes to student exchange programs and so forth).So this is kinda of a tricky one.

    On a different note, Malaysia is multi-religious society BUT Islam is the official religion. So there should be no surprises that this would be seen as an "alien" practice and for it to be seen as "against their culture, their way of life" is a song that we've heard time and again from religious bigots all over the planet.

    Posted by: Shabaka | Nov 6, 2007 11:27:58 AM


  11. "for the greater good" is what I meant to say. Tuesday morning mode, I guess...

    Posted by: Shabaka | Nov 6, 2007 11:32:59 AM


  12. I guess I'm in the minority as I agree with Mike. To my mind, there is a difference between "sex" and "sexuality". I have no tolerance for sex in public places. Glad they got arrested. Now let them go back to their spouses and tell them what happened.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | Nov 6, 2007 11:59:27 AM


  13. Mike and Jefferey,

    From where you sit,to freely associate where and when you please,whats the weather like?
    Must be pretty nice that you can condemn these men.
    Self rightous moralist's are as alive and well in the gay community as they are with the right wing bible thumpers.

    Obviously you nevered lived through that type of "legal" persacution.
    Like the generation here,60's-70's-80's, that lived and fought for the right's you seem to take for granted.

    Posted by: griffin1573 | Nov 6, 2007 12:16:38 PM


  14. Jeffrey--

    Did you read the story? This was almost certainly a private party that happened after hours. This wasn't something going on while the gym was open. If it was, then I agree, they should have been arrested. But come on: do you *really* think 37 men were having a sex party at a gym while other people were trying to work out?

    Add to that the quotes from the police chief.

    Please, understand what actually happened before you blather on about sex in public places being wrong.

    That's decidedly *not* what this is about.

    Posted by: Dan E | Nov 6, 2007 12:18:51 PM


  15. Jeffrey, can you not see that this is a TOTALLY different situation than just "having sex in public places"?
    This is governmental, religious and societal oppression and persecution, NOT folks getting off on public sex! C'mon man, are you kidding me?

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Nov 6, 2007 12:24:36 PM


  16. "Those arrested face the possibility of 20 years in prison and lashing."

    Did the people who think they had it coming to them really read that? As others have pointed out, not everyone on earth has the luxury of taking their "trick home." The police statements are, not surprisingly, blatantly homophobic and a clue as to the real reason behind the arrests.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 6, 2007 1:11:46 PM


  17. OK.. so the Chinese national and the man from the UK are ALSO so repressed they were forced to go to a country with these views and partake in the orgy at the gym?? Also, there was nothing written in the article that these activities took place after hours... those were asumptions. Your responses are typical of gay and closeted gay men that think they have a right to "get off" when and where they want. Hey, I have to give them credit. At least they wore condoms. Mr. Soulbrotha would problably use the excuse of "societal oppression and persecution" in defense of the "down low" parties which engage in unsafe sex and spread HIV.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | Nov 6, 2007 4:59:06 PM


  18. "Mr. Soulbrotha would problably use the excuse of "societal oppression and persecution" in defense of the "down low" parties which engage in unsafe sex and spread HIV."

    Man, grow up.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Nov 6, 2007 5:31:39 PM


  19. Good. They deserved to be arrested. It's their fault they got arrested anyways, the wise thing to do would have been to have sex in a shed or closet or something, without so many people around. Duh.

    Posted by: Dan | Nov 6, 2007 9:53:27 PM


  20. This is a sad situation, however, we shouldn't confuse issues. If these guys were so repressed then why have it in a public venue (closed or not). I think the police would be more likely to raid a group of guys having sex in, say, Dunkin Donuts, than in someone's home. None of these guys have homes? The diplomat and UK guy didn't have hotels? I think the public sex fanatics are using this as some sort of example of what happens when gay men aren't allowed to get off in public again. These guys should have been more responsible, c'mon guys. It is unfortunate though.

    Posted by: Rennie | Nov 7, 2007 9:09:52 AM


  21. I think Rennie, Mike and Jeff are right on target. Where was the outcry from this group when the Senator got busted in the toilet... there was none. Sexuality and Sex are two different things. If it's OK to have sex in a gym... closed or otherwise, then where do we draw the line in the sand when someone wants to jerk off in a movie theatre????

    Posted by: Jim | Nov 7, 2007 9:54:17 AM


  22. I would not be surprised if the tip off came from someone NOT invited :P

    As a Malaysian I have to refute the idea that there aren't sufficient 'outlets' for their activities. The common misconception outside this country seems to be that since it's a muslim majority country, there simply cannot be a gay scene. And while it is true that KL, being the capital and a generic metropolis has a much more visible gay scene, Penang isn't lacking one either.

    And here's the other thing - some of the very same police officers are quite likely to have had the pleasure of some same sex 'company' at some point or other. It's just how it works here, folks :) DL-ness in full effect, with them going back to wives and kids and their 'normality'

    It's far too complicated to relate in just one comment, but I guess I was trying to make the point that such stories are often seized on by media agencies, transmitted beyond our borders, and used to decry the lack of human rights here. Without getting into too much of the politics here, let's just say KL folks enjoy a whole lot of the stuff that goes on in other cities worldwide. Even if the official line is that the government frowns upon said activities. They know it exists, they preferred it didn't, but honestly, it's been going on for decades and it's not likely to go away, so they focus on other issues.

    Posted by: 1PC | Nov 7, 2007 2:02:15 PM


  23. it is clear that they are being charged not for public indecency, but for "sodomy" and "unnatural" gay sex. This is clearly targeted to criminalizing gay sex. Wow, I can't believe some gays here are supporting the police on this one.

    Posted by: ikoo | Nov 12, 2007 12:01:46 AM


  24. guys I from singapore and its nice to hear there is pleople around the wolrd that concern about the news of malaysia penang raid in the sauna. Its the trend in malaysia singapore that having sex in the gym sauna club that been organise by the gay as private party well its just term of saying private party. In fact its club or members 90% only been known by gay society. Anyway hope they doing find with thier life ya its been hard what they facing now. Still its all thier choice nobody force them to do so. So I believe mentally they have to accept the fact from what they have choose to be and choose to do.

    Posted by: Roy | Nov 17, 2007 2:05:27 PM


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