Malaysia's Information Department has banned shows featuring gay characters, Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz has confirmed. He said the ban was effective immediately but would only start with state-owned TV and radio stations. According to The Star, Maglin said the decision will be expanded to cover privately-owned stations as well as satellite TV providers. The Information Department issued a directive this week saying: "Effective immediately, radio and TV stations are asked to stop screening shows which feature gay, effeminate men as well as characters that go against the norm of a religious society because this encourages and promotes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender now." Regarding foreign productions,Maglin said the Censorship Board will remove episodes from running TV shows and bar movies with gay characters from being screened locally.