Islamic scholars and religious teachers disappointed by the Health Promotion Board's FAQ on sexuality

The Health Promotion Board's (HPB) list of frequently asked questions on sexuality, "can be construed by some as tacit support in normalising same-sex relations", said the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas). -- PHO
The Health Promotion Board's (HPB) list of frequently asked questions on sexuality, "can be construed by some as tacit support in normalising same-sex relations", said the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas). -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB OF HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD WEBSITE

The Health Promotion Board's (HPB) list of frequently asked questions on sexuality, "can be construed by some as tacit support in normalising same-sex relations", said the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas).

In a statement, Pergas said it was disappointed with the board's list, which featured about two dozen questions focusing on homosexuality and bisexuality. The list was first posted in November and started generating buzz earlier this month.

In the statement released on Tuesday, Pergas said that it found the list to be "insensitive towards the prevailing view of the Singaporean society", and cited a recent Institute of Policy Studies survey which found that 78.2 per cent of Singaporeans views are generally conservative towards same sex relations.

The association said that the message should instead be "directed at the importance of a traditional family unit", which is "the fundamental institution of human society".

It said however, that in line with the teachings of Islam, which promote love and mercy, it was not ostracising lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

In its weekly Friday sermon, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) also emphasised the sacredness of family, which it said ties in with its year-long focus on building resilient families in the Singapore Muslim community.