Malaysian Opposition leader says gays should be discriminated against

Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has told the Malay High Court that homosexuals should be prosecuted despite having twice defended sodomy charges against himself

Malaysian Opposition leader says gays should be discriminated against
19 July 2012

Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has told a Malay court that homosexuals should be discriminated against, despite past comments to the BBC in which he called the country’s sodomy laws archaic and in need of reform.

Ibrahim was appearing in court as part of a defamation action against the Utusan Malaysia newspaper which had run a series of articles in the wake of those comments, which Ibrahim believes defamed his character as being divergent from Islam and unfit to hold office.

When asked by Utusan Malaysia’s counsel if he believed the law should discriminate against homosexuals, Ibrahim was quoted’ by Malaysia’s The Star Online as saying ‘yes.’

‘Some of the archaic laws need to be reviewed [but] we do not promote homosexuality,’ Ibrahim told the court.

‘We Muslims should support the sanctity of marriage [but] we should not punish innocent people.’

Ibrahim had told the BBC in January, ‘We will have to review some of our archaic laws.’

‘We Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia generally believe and are committed to support[ing] the sanctity of marriage between men and women, but we should not be seen to be punitive and consider the archaic law as relevant.’

But Ibrahim said the BBC had been incorrect to interpret this as meaning he would decriminalise homosexuality if elected to government and denied that he believed that the state should not prosecute homosexual activities that occurred in private.

Ibrahim was sentenced to nine years in prison for alleged homosexual activity in what were widely believed to be trumped up charges in 2000, but was acquitted four years later on appeal and released.

Ibrahim was again arrested for allegedly having sex with a male employee in 2008 but was acquitted of those charges as well in January this year.

The newspapers lawyers attempted to argue that, due to these charges, Ibrahim had no reputation to defend but this was not allowed by High Court justice VT Singham.

Ibrahim has accused the newspaper of being a government mouthpiece.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Fox News: ‘Don’t be deceived’ by trans US WikiLeaks soldier Chelsea Manning

Chat Show ‘Fox & Friends’ critical of The New York Times for using correct pronouns for WikiLeaks soldier
No thumbnail available

US church may allow trans ministers

The American Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops has approved a proposal to hire transgender men and women for a final vote
No thumbnail available

Australia paper half-apologizes for 'she-male' headline

The Courier Mail says it did not intend to diminish Mayang Prasetyo's murder by labeling her a 'ladyboy'
No thumbnail available

Hercules & Love Affair added to Brighton Pride lineup

Disco pop trio join Fatboy Slim and Jess Glynne on this year's bill
No thumbnail available

Uganda lesbian, raped by uncle to ‘cure’ her, given chance to save her life

Due to be deported from the UK today, a 30-year-old fears she will be beaten, imprisoned and killed if she is forced to go back to Uganda
No thumbnail available

My life as a gay man under Gaddafi

First of a two-part interview with Libyan LGBT activist Khaleed about his life before and after the revolution in Libya
No thumbnail available

Viral video calls for equal rights of gay parents

Director Mike Buonaiuto questions why same-sex parent families go unrecognised in Europe
No thumbnail available

African-American church leader accuses Obama of releasing 'homo demons'

'Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black women. A white homo may take your man'
No thumbnail available

São Paulo has the world’s biggest gay Pride

As 4.5 million get ready to party at São Paulo Pride, we check out this stunning and surprising Brazilian city
Saudi Arabia says it will support human rights as long as they can still kill gay people

Saudi Arabia says it will support human rights as long as they can still kill gay people

Middle Eastern country faced criticism for acts of torture against LGBTI people