Anwar ticks off Clooney on Malaysia’s anti-gay stand

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

BANGI: Anwar Ibrahim has become the latest Pakatan Harapan leader to respond to George Clooney over the Hollywood star’s recent comments criticising Malaysia’s laws against homosexuality.

The PKR president, who was jailed twice on charges of sodomy which he said were fabricated, said concerns over human rights should not be an excuse for others to dictate Malaysia’s policies.

“Of course we have to take into consideration the concerns of the international community, but you must realise that Americans decide on their own, Germans decide for themselves, the Chinese decide for themselves. Why must Malaysia be dictated by the rest?” asked Anwar.

Speaking on US talk show “Ellen”, Clooney, who was behind a recent campaign to boycott Brunei over its proposal to introduce capital punishment for gay sex, hit out at Indonesia and Malaysia for their laws against homosexuality.

He said Brunei’s decision to suspend its anti-gay law following the global boycott should be a warning to its two neighbours before they consider introducing similar laws.

But Anwar said while there are humanitarian issues surrounding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Malaysian’s independence must be respected.

“We must be fiercely independent and decide what is best for our country, representing the aspirations of our own people,” said Anwar, who will mark the first anniversary of his release from jail tomorrow. His release followed a royal pardon in the wake of the May 9 change of government.

When asked how he felt a year after his release, Anwar said:

“I am thankful to be free.”