Yew Fook Sam, known to his friends as Sam, faces deportation to Malaysia where homosexuality is illegal, after UK immigration officers said they did not believe he was gay. According to the Home Office, they believe that it's "suspicious" that Sam does not have a boyfriend.
The 67-year-old man claims that he will be imprisoned and persecuted if he is refused the UK visas that he has applied to and forced to return to Malaysia. In Malaysia, homosexuality is punishable by both federal and Sharia law. Sam has also outlined his fears that he may be forced to undergo gay conversation therapy if he has to return to the country, due to a lack of indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Yew Fook Sam, who also suffers from depression, claims that he does not have a boyfriend because he only recently came out to the public, after finding acceptance for his sexuality at a local church in Liverpool. Currently, Sam does not have a UK work permit, and he is barred from seeking work while his claim for asylum is in progress. As such, he must live on £5 a day from the government.
According to Sam, although he can't afford to socialise much without a UK work permit, he would like the opportunity to find a "kind" man who would be his partner. Following press releases about the story, a petition has been released that demands the Home Office allow Sam to remain in the UK. Currently, the petition has over 1,000 signatures. Sam has also worked alongside UK immigration consultants to work on a new claim. He is being supported by a chaplain at the Liverpool YMCA in his quest for indefinite leave to remain.
Sam will be making an argument against the assumption that a person has to be sexually active in order to understand their sexuality. People have claimed that the Home Office is being "absurd and unjust" with their refusal of asylum