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Malaysia police to investigate authenticity of gay sex video

Malaysia police to investigate authenticity of gay sex video

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A task force has been put together to examine the authenticity of a sex video which allegedly depicts a Malaysian Cabinet minister.

The task force will consist of police, forensic experts and members of the internet regulator, Malaysian police have said.

The leaked video – which depicts two men having sex – have been circulating on messaging apps in Malaysia.

Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz, an aide to a deputy minister, has said that he is one of the men in the videos. He claims that the other individual is Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali. 

Azmin’s office maintains that the video clips are fake.

The video has shocked the Malaysian political establishment.

Gay sex remains illegal under British colonial-era laws in Malaysia. Those found guilty face up to 20 years in prison.

‘I’d say it is dirty politics’

Police made the announcement of the task force on Monday (17 June).

Local newspaper The Star reported Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mazlan Mansor saying: ‘A task force consisting of CID, the Forensics Unit and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) personnel are actively investigating and attempting to ascertain the authenticity of the video.’

‘We have to wait for the results of their probe,’ Mazlan added. 

Members of Pakatan Harapan, Malaysian ruling coalition, have sided with the cabinet minister. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad denounced the videos as ‘dirty tactics’.

‘I’d say it is dirty politics. If you cannot win against somebody, don’t do these dirty things. Keep politics a little bit cleaner,’ The New Straits Times reported Mahathir saying.

On the same day that police announced the formation of the special take force, Mahathir doubled down on his opposition to LGBTI rights and same-sex marriage.

Sex scandals in Malaysia

Sex scandals – or allegations of sex scandals – have been used multiple times in Malaysia in the past against politicians.

Anwar Ibrahim, who leads the People’s Justice Party (PKR), underwent two highly controversial trials for sodomy, resulting in long prison terms. 

Anwar has since slammed the videos as a ‘scurrilous attack’ against Azmin. 

‘PKR reiterates its commitment in rejecting the disgusting gutter politics that we now witness. This country needs to focus on economic and social issues and not be dragged into this dishonorable arena,’ he said.

Cultural stigmas

Homosexuality remains a widely polarised issue in Malaysia.

In addition to the threat of criminal prosecution, deep-seated cultural stigmas still face the country’s LGBTI community.

Numerous religious and political figures have consistently whipped up anti-LGBTI sentiments in the Muslim majority country.

Anti-LGBTI sentiments have affected Malaysian politics during the past year. In July 2018, LGBTI rights Numan Afifi stepped down from his role as the press officer for the Youth and Sports Minister after experiencing multiple threats and continued abuse because of his sexuality.

There have been multiple instances of the Malaysian authorities clamping down on the LGBTI community. LGBTI rights activists have repeatedly highlighted the lack of protections for LGBTI people.