In recent days, Malaysian daily newspaper Sinar Harian has faced heavy criticism after publishing an article on Friday listing "how to spot a gay person".

According to Sinar Harian, homosexual men are "fond of growing facial hair and wearing branded clothes". 

The bullet point list also states that gay men love going to the gym quite frequently, but not to work out, instead to check out other men, according to a translation published by The Guardian

They usually wear "tight clothes" and "their eyes light up upon encountering handsome men".

The article went on to point out that lesbians "despised and belittled men, preferred to be alone, tend to hug each other and hold hands when walking," according to Malaysiakini

"What rubbish is this?"

One word: "EW"

"Not the first, won't be the last"

Responses online soon followed

The article made its way online, stirring controversy over the matter. Many people began criticizing Malaysia's stance on LGBTQ rights. 

One social media activist, Arwind Kumar, released a video on YouTube, warning that such an article could lead to a crackdown on the LGBTQ community in the country, which could ultimately "take away lives". 

"There are much more important issues in this country which need to be addressed," Kumar said. 

"If you really want to educate society, then explain to them the traits of a paedophile, a molester, a murderer, a kidnapper, people who actually endanger the lives of others. How the hell does a gay person endanger your life?"

Kumar went on to mock the fact that the newspaper believes facial hair to be a trait present exclusively in gay men. 

"I know a lot of priests, I know a lot ustads [Islamic scholars], I know a lot of of really really religious people who love keeping beards. Are you trying to say they are gay? That’s how stupid this is," he said.

The video has amassed nearly 35,000 views on YouTube since its release.

Malaysia and LGBTQ rights

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, punishable by a 20-year prison sentence as per a penal code that criminalizes sexual behaviors "against the order of nature". 

The Muslim-majority country has stood against the LGBTQ community a number of times in recent years.

In June 2017, the country's Health Ministry launched a contest titled "The National Creative Video Competition on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health" with an aim to "prevent" homosexuality and transgenderism. 

That same year, the country’s deputy interior minister attacked Walt Disney for the live-action film "Beauty and the Beast" because it contained a "gay moment". 

Despite demands from the Malaysian censorship board, Disney refused to remove the scene. The film's release was delayed but was eventually screened uncut.

In 2015, Malaysia's highest court upheld a ruling that banned cross-dressing.

In 2011, an "anti-gay camp" was launched in the country after more than 60 teenagers were identified as "too feminine" by their teachers. 

The boys were sent off on a 4-day "religious and physical education" trip in an attempt to guide the boys back "to a proper path in life", according to the BBC.