Yew Fook Sam. (Change.org)
It seems Christmas miracles do exist, like when Yew Fook Sam received an early Christmas in the form of asylum status from the government.
The 67 year-old-man, who has been living in the UK since 2005, was recently accused of “not being gay enough” for Home Office officials. Using the fact that he doesn’t have a boyfriend as evidence, they could not grant him asylum. Home Office officials then threatened Sam with deportation back to Malaysia where being gay is illegal. That was until his friends at St Bride’s Church in Percy Street, Liverpool stepped in.
The Church, where Sam has been a member of the Open Table LGBTQIA+ worship community, started an online petition urging the Home Office to reconsider. The petition received more than 5,000 signatures.
“Through his bravery, he has now created a pathway for others who are facing outdated and oversimplified ideas about sexuality,” said Helene Santamera, an immigration lawyer at the Immigration Advice Service in Liverpool.
According to PinkNews Sam arrived in the UK in 2005 on a tourist visa and remained in the South of England, working, until he was arrested in 2016. He is now studying tourism at the City of Liverpool College with a view to being a tour guide.
Sam said: “I am so happy here – Liverpool people are so kind and welcoming.”
This story originally appeared: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/12/21/home-office-asylum-christmas-malaysia-gay-man-liverpool-echo/