lim jia sheng,

.Intercultural Design


week[5]: Data collection brief

Data collection should come from our research regarding our topic, along with anything that we find along the way. This includes artefacts, interviews, etc.


  • Due dates
    • Main
      • 7/2/22 (Monday)
    • Blog
      • ~10/2/22 (Thursday)
  • Submission
    • Main
      • Full slides
      • Summarised slides (if needed)
      • Presentation video (~10 minutes)
    • Blog
      • Everything in Main
      • Data collection process
      • Feedback, reflection, etc.


project[2]: Data collection


  • Collect data.


Before any research was started, we needed to find out what to find & where to find it even. Tress & I got on a call to discuss, coming up with a list of things. These things are loosely split into two categories — reasoning & executing. The reasoning part would be about history, cultural significance, & real world events, while executing would be more towards things we can use to base our final product off of.

  • Google Arts & Culture on the 3 weapons
    Qian Tong
  • Suppression/rebellion of drag
    • Video research
      reasoning executing
      Yi Yun
    • Netnography
      reasoning executing
      Yi Yun
  • The history of homophobic persecution in the countries of the 3 weapons
    Jia Sheng Tress
  • The significance of each weapon to their region
  • Interview for person who practices drag in one of the countries of the 3 weapons
    • Creating the questions
      Jo Jia Sheng
    • Finding & requesting for interview
  • Going somewhere & taking actual pictures of Keris or smtg lol
    Jia Sheng

Delegation was according to each person's strengths/availability (eg. I can drive so I'll go out, Yi Yun is great at being methodical so she'll be better at organization). We do recognize this being slightly arbitrary in terms of the attributes we're going off of, but the tight timeframe of this research forced us to move quickly. We did hold an open "consortium vote" type thing to take in objections & questions to the roles, with "lgtm" being the unanimous response.


So I was in charge of a few things, more specifically to go somewhere & find out about homophobic persecution. Below documents all of my research done.

Going somewhere

This was a journey, I cannot lie. I did some research initially to find out what muzuems in KL displayed traditional weapons. The first one I found was Muzium Warisan Melayu of Universiti Putra Malaysia. Their website was pretty enticing, with traditional weapons display bang front & centre.

Screenshot of Muzium Warisan Melayu's website, 26/1/2022

Figure 1.1.1, Screenshot of Muzium Warisan Melayu's website, 26/1/2022

It was a ~30 minute drive there from Cheras, so it was decided. I did however, try to call them to check if they were open... with no answer.

After the ~30 minutes, I reached the place.

  • 20220126_154826

Figure 1.1.4, Outside Muzium Warisan Malaysia, 26/1/2022

Uh. Abandoned is probably the correct word. There were cars there, newly parked ones, lights inside too, but absolutely no sign of life. Honestly, still not sure what happened there.

Not wanting to disappoint my sunk-cost fallacy, I wanted still to go somewhere. I started looking around, but at that point it was 4pm & I was all the way out in Serdang. Reaching Muzium Negara would take about 30 minutes, but it closed at 5:00pm. Fortunately for me, close to it was this little place called Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM), which closed at 6 instead.

Their website wouldn't load at all at the time, which was a bad first start in my in-the-car-kind-of-peeved research journey. However eventually I found their Instagram, which looked extremely promising, cool even. At this point the only sign that they carried any weapons was this post, but hell at that point it was good enough. Set up Waze, drove for a bit, & was greeted with this sight:

Outside of IAMM (in the rain), 26/1/2022

Figure 1.1.5, Outside of IAMM (in the rain), 26/1/2022

It was so much more promising, & there was actually staff at the door, dressed in something tuxedo-like. I went in, the floors were polished, lift was on my right, & everything was air conditioned (did I mention how Muzium Warisan Malaysia was basically built like a primary school in the 2000s). Continuing on, I got a ticket which was only RM6 for students, & started exploring.

If you want to see everything I saw during this visit, you can check out either the slides, or the Miro board under the "IAMM visit" frame.

Everyone should honestly check this place out, it's super cool, the bathroom architecture had attention to detail; It felt like a resort that would cost 6 numbers not RM6.

Homophobic persecution

The scope of this project focuses solely on the death penalty imposed on homosexuality, & does not encompass other sorts of state-enforced persecution. Here I will explore its applications & reasonings.


This is a dangerous topic to touch on; I will stick to as hard of truths as I can find. A exploration of homosexuality in religion is required as a precursor, since it is the main point in common between many countries & territories' independent decision to put homosexuality behind the ultimatum of death.

Majority of religions

Most religions, especially in their orthodox variants, view homosexuality as either a sin, or simply incompatible with their teachings (United Methodist Church, 2016, Vatican, n.d., “World Sikh group against gay marriage bill,” 2005). However, even with such interpretations, none of them enforce death for such action, either because they don't think they have the authority to, or that it is simply unneeded (Reinherz, 2019).

In modern times, most religions are even starting to come to the idea that homosexuality should be embraced, with scholars relooking into traditional interpretations & coming out with ideas that contradict their orthodox counterparts (Schnabel, 2016).

"I think that is a personal matter." says Dalai Lama when asked about same sex marriage. "You should follow according to your own tradition. You see, like Buddhism, [there] are are different kinds of sexual misconduct, so you should follow [them] properly. The non-believer, it is up to them. So far, it is a different form of sex, so long [it is] safe, OK, & fully agree, OK" (King, 2014).

The outlier — Islam

Currently enforced death penalties for homosexuality are often attributed to a supposed claim by Prophet Muhammad, more specifically:

"If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done." (Sunan Abi Dawud, 1988, as cited by Mumisa, 2015)

However, the origins & authenticity of this saying is heavily disputed, with numerous renowned authorities in the field of hadith (anecdotes of Prophet Muhammad) classifying it & its chains of transmission as "‘unreliable’, ‘weak’, ‘inauthentic’ and ‘unfounded’". (Al-Zayla‘i & al-Din, 2010, as cited by Mumisa, 2015).

Even though homosexuality is generally considered a sin in Islam, this spotty & even perhaps inauthentic rhetoric makes it so that the enforcement of the death penalty under hudud (claims against God) be even less substantiable (Mumisa, 2015).

"Avert/reject the institution and application of hudud laws when in doubt." (Sunan al Tirmidhi, 1983, as cited by Mumisa, 2015)

To add the nail in the coffin, the applicability of hudud for homosexuality is questionable at best as well. There are many statements which affirm hudud laws to only be applicable for a "last resort", where claims against a person cannot be disputed (Mumisa, 2015). The mere fact we are debating this, is a sure sign that perhaps the basis of such legislation is imposed upon may be one of false beliefs.

In the Middle East

Homosexuality, & subsequently the rest of the LGBTQ+ spectrum have almost always been a point of scrutiny in the Middle East. This is due to their integration & subsequent compliance of Islamic laws in their own legislative framework.

Historical notes

In the book of Leviticus, actions of homosexuality is widely believed to constitute the deaths of both parties involved (King James Version Bible, 2010, Leviticus 20:13). This is where most Jewish, & subsequently Hebrew people get their ideology from. However, it is to note Israel does not currently enforce a death penalty for homosexuality, even if it is noted to be required.

Middle Assyrian Law Code

"If a man has had sex with his neighbour [&] he has been charged and convicted, [then] he is to be considered defiled & made into a eunuch." (Middle Assyrian Law Code, n.d.)

With "his neighbour" most likely referring to simply "man", & "eunuch" meaning a man who has been castrated. Not quite death but possibly a worse fate.

Allegedly the modern-day worst place for Gays — Iran

Iran is known for its continued violent actions against same-sex intercourse practitioners. Instead of explaining & justifying it to you, here's every alleged instance of people being executed for homosexual activity in Iran, that I can find.

  1. 4,000-6,000 people since 1979.

"Human rights activists and opponents of the Iranian regime claim between 4,000 and 6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran for crimes related to their sexual preference since 1979." (Embassy London, 2008)

  1. 20 people between 1979-1981.

"The Iranian Human Rights Documentation Centre has indicated that between 1979 and 1981 nearly 750 people were executed, of whom 20 were killed for engaging in same-sex sexual activity." (Botha, 2021a)

  1. 2 teenage boys in 2005.

"In 2005 two teenage boys were executed, to international outcry. This incident is not included in the tally above as they were officially charged with raping a younger teenage boy, though some rights groups claimed that the two boys had only engaged in consensual activity and that the State’s accusation of rape was merely meant to villainise them." (Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, 2003, as cited by Botha, 2021b)

  1. 2 men in 2005.

"In March 2005, Etemaad, an Iranian newspaper, reported that the Tehran Criminal Court had sentenced two men to death following the discovery of a video showing them having sex. According to the paper, one of the men had shot the video as a precaution, should he need to blackmail the other into continued financial support, though both were to be executed." (Human Rights Watch, 2005, as cited by Botha, 2021b)

  1. 2 men in 2005.

"November 2005 saw two men publicly executed in the northern town of Gorgan for the crime of liwat, though further details are not known." (Human Rights Watch, 2005, as cited by Botha, 2021b)

  1. 2 men in 2007.

"On 31 May 2007 the First District of the Criminal Court of Ardabil found the two men guilty of liwat and sentenced them to death. Reportedly, the conviction was based on “the knowledge of the judge”, despite the fact that Iranian law is said to require at least four male witnesses in order for the death penalty to be applicable." (Alston, 2009, as cited by Botha, 2021b)

  1. 1 man in 2010.

"In 2010 it was reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions that the Criminal Court of Shiraz found a man guilty of same-sex activity and sentenced him to death. The judgment was upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court. According to the Special Rapporteur, Iranian officials did not respond to communications regarding this case or others." (Alston, 2009, as cited by Botha, 2021b)

  1. 2 men in 2022.

"The Ayatollah regime in Iran just executed two gay men for the crime of sodomy in Iran. This is Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi who were executed by hanging. Where's the outrage from @StateDept @SecBlinken @glaad & other LGBT groups in U.S. to this horrific crime?! #No2IR" (Melamed, 2022)

In South Asia

The big brother — India

India by all accounts, has had a rich history, with same-sex influences liberaly sprinkled in between. From poets, to their books, & general media, it's pretty impressive the amount of actual entries you can find around the web (“South Asian literatures: Diaspora,” 2015).

However, homophobia is still common there, in people & culture (Rao, 2016). Even with that though, the government plays an almost neutral role, not hunting, nor supporting the demographic (Ramón Mendos et al., 2020). Better than death I suppose.

Deathly smaller siblings

In Pakistan & Afghanistan, you can be sentenced to death for participating in LGBTQ+ "activities". These two countries are highly Islamic, going all the way to establish its laws into their legislations (Office of International Religious Freedom, 2021, Office of International Religious Freedom, 2020).

However, here is where the similarities end.


Recorded cases of executions actually happening in Pakistan are extremely rare, with the majority of actual deaths & violence carried out by the people against each other (Ali & Bengali, 2016). Mob violence however, when gone intervened, produces just as horrible an outcome as any state-enforced measure.


Politics in Afghanistan is simply said, a f*cking sh*t storm. This is thus also represented in how repressed demographics become the punching bag of the tyrannical.


The Taliban explicitly criminalize all non-heterosexual sexual relationships. They have even been recorded in luring gay individuals & then raping + beating them, which at this point, we recognize as one of the most common (& ironic) of patterns when it comes to atrocities committed against such individuals (Shoaib, 2021).

Without the Taliban

Even without the Taliban however, the Constitution of Afghanistan establishes Sharia Law prominently (Kamali, 1985). Even though this constitution was annulled, parts of it have still been readopted, & it still stands as the main source of """inspiration""" for controlling forces/governments (eg. Al Qaeda which adopts an extremely strict variant of Shariah law).


List Al-Zayla‘i, A. bin Y., & al-Din, J. (2010). *Nasb al-Rayah Takhrij Ahadith al-Hidaya*. Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah دار الكتب العلمية.

Ali, Z., & Bengali, S. (2016, May 25). Pakistani transgender activist who was shot, then taunted at hospital, dies of injuries. *Los Angeles Times*.

Alston, P. (2009). Report of the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. In *United Nations Digital Library*. UN.

Botha, K. (2021a). Our identities under arrest: A global overview on the enforcement of laws criminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults and diverse gender expressions. In *ILGA World* (p. 149). ILGA World.

Botha, K. (2021b). Our identities under arrest: A global overview on the enforcement of laws criminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults and diverse gender expressions. In *ILGA World* (p. 151). ILGA World.

Embassy London. (2008, May 22). *Iran: UK grants asylum to victim of Tehran persecution of gays, citing publicity*. WikiLeaks Cable: 08LONDON1433_a.

Human Rights Watch. (2005, November 21). Iran: Two more executions for homosexual. *Human Rights Watch*.

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. (2003). *Denied identity: Human rights abuses against Iran’s LGBT community*.

Kamali, M. H. (1985). Law in Afghanistan: A study of the constitutions, matrimonial law and the judiciary. In *Google Books*. BRILL.

King James Version Bible. (2010). American Bible Society.

King, L. (2014). The Dalai Lama Weighs In On Same Sex Marriage | Dalai Lama Interview | Larry King Now - Ora TV [YouTube Video]. In *YouTube*.

Melamed, K. (2022, January 31). *The Ayatollah regime in Iran just executed two gay men for the crime of sodomy in Iran. This is Mehrdad [Tweet]*. Twitter.

*Middle Assyrian Law Code*. (n.d.). Jewish and Christian Literature.

Mumisa, M. (2015). *Sharia law and the death penalty: Would abolition of the death penalty be unfaithful to the message of Islam?* Penal Reform International.

Office of International Religious Freedom. (2020). 2019 report on international religious freedom: Afghanistan. In *United States Department of State*.,the%20limits%20of%20the%20law.

Office of International Religious Freedom. (2021). 2020 report on international religious freedom: Pakistan. In *United States Department of State*.

Ramón Mendos, L., Botha, K., Carrano Lelis, R., López de la Peña, E., Savelev, I., & Tan, D. (2020). *State-sponsored homophobia 2020: Global legislation overview update*. ILGA.

Rao, M. (2016, April 13). *Exploring the theme of homosexuality in Indian cinema*. Mans World India.

Reinherz, A. (2019, August 2). Rabbis talk about Jewish position on death penalty. *Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle*.

Schnabel, L. (2016). Gender and homosexuality attitudes across religious groups from the 1970s to 2014: Similarity, distinction, and adaptation. *SocArXiv*.

Shoaib, A. (2021, September 4). The Taliban raped and beat a gay man in Kabul after tricking him into a meeting with a promise of escape from Afghanistan, says report. *Business Insider*.

South Asian literatures: Diaspora. (2015). In *glbtq*.

*Sunan Abi Dawud*. (1988). Dar Al-Dayyan.

*Sunan al Tirmidhi*. (1983). Dar Al-Fikr.

United Methodist Church. (2016). *Social principles: The nurturing community*. The United Methodist Church.

Vatican. (n.d.). *The sixth commandment*. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from

World Sikh group against gay marriage bill. (2005, March 29). *CBC*.

This was such a tedious process, going through multiple people & multiple iterations.


For the slides, layouts were completely redone in some parts, combining & removing extraneous/duplicate info. This is not even getting into the summarized slides! Below, you can see an overview in Google Slides, where the greyed out ones are slides that have been modified or refactored at least once.

Google slides overview, 6/2/2022

Figure 1.1.6, Google slides overview, 6/2/2022


All the information from the document is taken from the slides. Constructing it was a pretty challenge though, due to the sheer volume of text, headings, quotes, & formatting. In order to maintain consistency, I copied text from slides, into a markdown editor (which transforms it into deterministic source code), & then from that into Word. Further clean ups, captions, Word-compatible formattings, were applied, which ended up us with final.

Partial markdown source of our document, 6/2/2022

Figure 1.1.7, Partial markdown source of our document, 6/2/2022


  • 8/2/2022
    • Demonstrates excellent observational and research skills, evident in an abundant collection of various materials, using appropriate tools.
    • Documentation of collected materials is written clearly with effective written communication skills, clearly reviewing the contents of the sources.
    • I am happy to see the RQ-RO in the beginning, well done there.
    • It would also be good to mention in the conclusion how the data collected answered the RQ and fulfilled the RO and what will be the implications of the knowledge gained in your design output.


Figure 1.2.1, Document encapsulating all of the research done, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.2.2, Slides encapsulating all of the research done, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.2.3, Summarized slides encapsulating most of the research done, 8/2/2022

Figure 1.2.4, Video presentation of summarized slides, 6/2/2022


Stressful, dreadful, all to a fool. In theory, this step of the project should be the one most straight forward, but that proved itself invalidated right when things started going wrong. The interview was the obvious snag in our operations, but that was honestly the most expected part of our journey. What we didn't expect was the result of some of my peers' work needing a lot more work to be bent into acceptable shape. Along with that came deadlines, or the coming & going of them with not much progress along the way. However understandable it was that needing to do research was not a very Chinese New Year mood, it still put some of us into turmoil to pick up the pace of others.

Besides all that hardship however, I still feel like I was able to pick up a few things. Most notable practical skills included formatting in Word, formatting in Google Slides, & also coercion between them. The data collection skills are the most interesting though — how to start from a massive pool of research, skimming them down, then branching out from them again. I can't help but notice how that's somewhat similar to how neural networks learn too. I also found that such hour glass strategy was most effective when there exists a medium amount of available data — if there were a lot, you wouldn't need it, if there were too little, too much of your research would be dependent on source of secondary data. Other than that, I also feel like I got somewhat better at summarizing, & a lot better at laying out said summarized data into much more easily consumable forms, optimized for slides/decks. Hey, those grey slides don't seem like a complete waste of time in retrospect after all.

At the end of the day, it was a successful venture to obtain & collect data for the overarching project & theme. The statement of "this is not a research module" stands as false as it's ever been, but we never really stopped doubting it anyway. I know everything I've learnt from this slice of the module will help me tremendously in my future research endeavours; I've heard our dissertation is one heck of a clusterf*ck. I hope my groupmates had the same opportunities to grow & leverage this journey to further their knowledge as well, definitely looking forward to wrapping things up & actually executing the damn project.


Vinod Sample said…
India court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling –