Last edited: November 06, 2004

Malaysian Leader Attacks Gays & Western ‘Homo” Media in National TV Speech, September 3, 2003

By Peter Hacker, Newscenter, Asia Bureau Chief

Kuala Lumpur—A nationally televised speech marking Malaysia’s national holiday by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was riddled with anti-gay epithets and threats.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 300,000 following a massive parade in the capital, and broadcast live throughout the country, Mahathir said Malaysia’s achievements proved its policies worked. He then claimed that foreign powers were trying dominate weak countries and warned that Western influences threatened Malaysia’s traditional values.

“Western films idolize sex, violence, murders and wars,” said Mahathir, a critic of U.S.-led globalization. “Now they permit homosexual practices and accept religious leaders with openly gay lifestyles.”

“They are very angry—especially their reporters, many of whom are homos—when we take legal action against these practices,” Mahathir said.

Same-sex acts in Malaysia are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a flogging.

Mahathir warned that “if there are any homosexuals in Malaysia they had better mend their ways,” or face the maximum prison terms.

Mahathir has often denounced homosexuality. In 1998, he fired his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly committing sodomy, and in 2001, he said Malaysia would expel a homosexual British Cabinet minister if he visited with his partner.

Mahathir will retire in November. His hand-picked successor, deputy Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he will continue the country’s strict Moslem prohibitions against homosexuality.

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