We are free to reject Western influences, says Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. (Bernama pic)

LONDON: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says Malaysia is free to reject practices that are “unsuitable” for the country, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyle which he called “a shift” in Western moral values.

Speaking at a media conference here before concluding his three-day working visit to the UK, he added that the West wanted to “force” that lifestyle onto other countries.

“We have our own culture and we cannot accept anything that contradicts our culture, traditions and religion.

“In addition, Westerners always talk about freedom. That means we are free to reject practices that are unsuitable for us,” he said.

He was responding to a question on whether the LGBT issues brought up after his speech at the Cambridge Union on Sunday show that there is still pressure on Malaysia to accept the LGBT lifestyle.

“That’s how they exert their pressure, and they have managed to influence some Malaysians, including some Muslims and Malays who think that one of the manifestations of freedom is the right to accept what is practised in the West,” he said.

“For example, in the West, (the importance of) the institution of marriage is being disregarded and the family institution is no longer accepted. Couples can live together unmarried.

“That’s their way, we don’t have to agree to it. We have our own value that we hold on to and must be proud of. Don’t simply follow the West.”