A pensioner fears he could be killed if he is sent back to his country after the Home Office accused him of ‘not being gay enough’.
Yew Fook Sam, 67, tried to claim asylum after being arrested for working illegally in 2016.
But two judges have since rejected his assertions he wants to stay in the UK because he is gay and would face persecution in his home country of Malaysia, where homosexuality is illegal.
Yew Fook Sam, aka Sam, at the Liverpool Pride Festival in 2018 (Picture: Liverpool Echo)A judge of the Upper Tribunal who refused his appeal stated 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 …’
Mr Yew, who lives in Kirkby, Merseyside, told the Liverpool Echo: ‘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”.’
He said he was part of a number of gay associations, had attended Pride festivals in Liverpool and had also worked and marched at gay events.
Mr Yew, who came to the UK in 2005 on a visit visa, said this would make him a target if he went back to Malaysia.
He added: ‘I want to be able to die openly as a gay man, not go back to Malaysia and keep it a secret.
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Yew Fook Sam fears he could be killed if he sent back to Malaysia (Picture: Liverpool Echo)Mr Yew is being helped by his friends at St Bride’s Church in Liverpool – where he is part of the Open Table LGBTQIA+ worship community.
Open Table network co-ordinator Kieran Bohan said: ‘Sam is 67 and in poor physical health, with limited English and income. It would be very difficult for anyone in that situation to enter a relationship.
‘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.
Mr Yew said he got married at the age of 30 and had two children but his wife left him in 1988 after discovering he was gay.
She went to live in the United States with his kids soon after and he has had no contact with them since.
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Mr Yew hopes th Home Office will changer their minds Picture: Liverpool Echo)All of Sam’s appeal avenues have been exhausted and he fears the Home Office may detain him soon.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘This government has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution be-cause 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.’