Media trying to pit me against Dr M over LGBT, says Anwar

Anwar says the media is trying to drive a wedge between him and Dr Mahathir. (Bernama pic)

IPOH: Anwar Ibrahim says he is on the same page with Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the issue of same-sex marriage, saying the media are trying to show contrasting views between them based on his recent interview with Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera.

“We are Malaysians who understand religion and we do not agree on marriages between the same sex, only that the media try to pit us (by reporting that) the prime minister did not agree with LGBT, Anwar said we review the law on sodomy,” he said at a lecture on “New Malaysia” at the RTM auditorium here.

Anwar, who has been named by Pakatan Harapan to eventually replace Mahathir as prime minister, said the law on sodomy was a legacy of the British colonial government, which was first introduced in India.

“To me, the law is not fair and should be reviewed,” he said, adding that the reports on his statement were to pit him against Mahathir.

“Everyday it is shown that what I say that can cause enmity between Tun Mahathir and me,” he said, as reported by Bernama.

Anwar had criticised Malaysia’s anti-sodomy law, during an interview on Al Jazeera’s current affairs programme UpFront.

“This is not only archaic, it is British colonial laws, introduced in India and replicated in Malaysia. It is completely unjust because one can be accused, and without any proper evidence, in my case clearly,” said the PKR leader, who had been imprisoned twice after being convicted of sodomy charges which he said were politically motivated.

The interview was aired a day after Mahathir dismissed calls for the government to recognise the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Mahathir yesterday said there were certain things that Malaysians could not accept although they could be considered as part of basic human rights in some Western countries.

“We can’t accept, for example, LGBT, or same-sex marriages, whether between two men or two women. Our concept of family has not changed. If you have your own children or have adopted them, then you are a family.

“But not two men or two women. This is not considered a family,” he said.

Anwar today said he and Mahathir were in agreement on many issues.

“Now I want the pact to be successful, the pact between Anwar, Mahathir and the parties in PH to save the country from destruction that Barisan Nasional had done,” he said.

He also said he would continue to speak up for the Malays.

“I will defend the Malay interest so that they will not be left out, poor and without major business opportunities in the urban areas.

“I will also continue to look after the interests of those people who gave their confidence and support to us including the Indians, Chinese and other races,” he said, as quoted by Bernama.