Pensioner fears deportation from UK for ‘not being gay enough’
A 67-year-old man fears he may be deported to Malaysia, where homosexuality is illegal, for “not being gay enough”.
Yew Fook Sam, who lives in Kirkby in Merseyside, attempted to claim asylum in the UK after being arrested for working illegally in 2016.
Immigration officials have rejected his claims to remain, despite the risk of persecution in his home country.
A judge sitting at an Immigration and Asylum Chamber said: “Taking all of the evidence in the round, I do find the appellant is not a homosexual as he claims.”
The verdict was repeated by a judge of the Upper Tribunal who refused his appeal. They said the original judge “provided detailed and cogent reasons for finding that the appellant’s account of his sexuality was not a genuine and credible one, identifying numerous inconsistencies and discrepancies in his account…”
Sam, who came to the UK in 2005 on a visit visa, says he was married in Malaysia and had two children, but has said he was living a lie. He says his wife left him after finding out he was gay.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: “I was so disappointed and depressed, after being told that I was not gay. How can I prove it?
“I tried to tell the Home Office ‘I am 67. I don’t need sex’.”
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Sam added he was part of several gay associations and had attended Pride celebrations, which he says would lead to him being targeted in Malaysia.
“I want to be able to die openly as a gay man, not go back to Malaysia and keep it a secret.”
He is being supported by St Bride’s Church in Liverpool, where he is part of the Open Table LGBTQIA+ worship community.
A member of the group, Kieran Bohan, said Sam was in “poor physical health” and had “limited English and income” which would make it difficult to be in a relationship.
He said: “There are many people in later life who find themselves single, whatever their orientation. They do not cease to be gay, bisexual or straight because they do not have a partner.”
A petition to prevent his deportation has received more than 1,000 signatures.
A spokesperson for the Home Office told the Liverpool Echo: “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.”