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Malaysia bank denies promoting gay practices

Malaysia bank denies promoting gay practices

AmBank has denied promoting LGBTI rights in Malaysia after a Muslim group called for a boycott of the bank over its ties with a gay-friendly US Bank.

The bank today refuted allegations that it had deceived Muslims by signing a stock purchases agreement with MetLife in December last year.

‘AmBank Group is not involved in promoting or encouraging LGBT practices as reported in the media,’ it said in a statement translated by the Star.

‘AmBank Group, particularly AmMetLife Insurance Berhad and AmMetLife Takaful Berhad, operates and is governed independently under the laws of Malaysia and is not endorsing any practice that breaches any laws, including Sharia law.’

On Wednesday (12 November), Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) accused AmBank of conspiring with MetLife to promote LGBTI rights in the Muslim-majority country.

The US bank was named one of the best places to work for LGBTI people in 2013 by rights group Human Rights Campaign.

‘Ambank is indirectly deceiving Muslims in this country as it contradicts the concept of takaful [Islamic insurance], which is a system that complies with Islamic law,’ Azwanddin Hamzah, president of JMM, said in a statement translated by the New Straits Times.

‘This is a malicious agenda that shadows the banking industry, especially Islamic banking.’

He said he obtained the information through sources at the bank sources and three months of research.

Azwanddin called for a boycott of Ambank and urged the central bank to revoke its license to practice Islamic banking or takaful insurance.

‘Before this issue becomes a cancer, we have to put a stop to it. Our culture, laws and sensitivities have to be respected,’ he said.

Azwanddin said JMM would distribute one million flyers next week to kick-start the boycott.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin slammed JMM’s accusations as ‘stupid.’

‘If that is the case, using an iPhone is also considered promoting LGBT because of Tim Cook,’ he tweeted on Wednesday, referring to the gay CEO of Apple.

‘Clearly, stupidity has no boundaries.’