A 67-year-old Malaysian man faces deportation because the Home Office claims he’s lying about his sexuality.
Home Office officials believe Yew Fook Sam, known as Sam, has lied about being gay in order to remain in the UK, citing the fact he does not have a male partner as evidence.
Sam joined the St Bride’s Church Community as well as the Open Table LGBTQIA+ and has been living in Kirkby, Liverpool, since 2017.
He has worked as a steward at Pride festivals in Liverpool as well as walked with the Christians At Pride group with the Anglican Bishop at Liverpool Pride 2018.
A petition to stop the deportation of Sam, started by St Bride’s Church, has already gained over 3,000 signatures on change.org.
Sam told JMU Journalism that he would rather kill himself than live a lie in Malaysia.
Describing his likely fate if returned to his homeland, he said: “You will probably get tortured, put in prison and if I’m openly gay, people will start bullying me in Malaysia. If you were to deport me back I will be suicidal; I want to die openly as a gay man.
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“I’ve got my P60, my National Insurance number, I am registered to vote so how can I be illegal when they take my tax?”
In Malaysia, there is a subsection of the criminal code dictating punishment for men convicted of “gross indecency with another male person”.
A document viewed by JMU Journalism disclosing the refusal of an appeal from the HM Courts and Tribunal Service, stated that the original judge “claimed cogent reasons for finding that the appellant’s account of his sexuality was not a genuine and credible one”.
They further stated: “He was not homosexual and that he was at no risk of returning to Malaysia.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “This government has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and the UK remains a world leader in its approach to handling this type of asylum claim.
“We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”