Malaysian ex-PM: Gays should not lead mostly muslim nation

Anthony Cuesta | Janury 09, 2007

ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Gays should not govern mostly Muslim Malaysia, ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a court filing, challenging a lawsuit by his former deputy who was sacked amid allegations of sodomy.

"I strongly believe we cannot have a prime minister who is homosexual," Mahathir said in the 48-page statement seen Saturday by The Associated Press. "Malaysia is officially an Islamic country."

According to the Associated Press, Mahathir fired his deputy Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 alleging he was involved in corruption and had engaged in sodomy – an illegal act in Malaysia – after Anwar publicly denounced Mahathir's economic policies during the Asian financial crisis.

Anwar was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of corruption and sodomy in 1998. A successful appeal in Malaysia's top court against the sodomy conviction set him free in 2004.

The AP reports that in his statement, Mahathir said he knew his former deputy was gay because Anwar's speechwriter, Munawar Ahmad Anees, admitted in court that he had engaged in sodomy with Anwar. Munawar served six months in prison for the crime.

According to The New Strait Times, on Jan 27 last year, Anwar filed a defamation suit against Mahathir over his statement pertaining to Anwar�s sodomy charges. Anwar alleged Mahathir uttered defamatory statements at a press conference in Suhakam�s premises on Sept 9, 2005.

Anwar claimed the words meant he was a homosexual, he engaged in activities contrary to Islam, he was a pervert, unfit to hold office, had criminal tendencies and was dangerous to Malaysian society, reports the Times.

Mahathir retired in 2003 after 22 years in power. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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