Malaysia: Newspaper says backing ex-Deputy Prime Minister is ‘glorifying a perverted culture’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

A right-wing Malaysian newspaper has urged Muslims not to support former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who was sentenced to five years in jail on sodomy charge.

Mingguan Malaysia published an editorial over the weekend which read: “Several LGBT groups want Anwar’s prosecution to be overturned on the excuse that sodomy is a matter of freedom of choice and not a crime and sin in the eyes of Allah… for these groups, supporting Anwar is crucial.

“Muslims, especially PAS must be smart in evaluating what values they want to uphold.

“Do they want to fall along the lines of the LGBT groups who glorify a perverted culture? If in doubt, decide on what is less harmful to Islam, it is that easy.”

The 66-year old opposition leader, a bitter rival of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was sentenced on Friday 7 March under the country’s anti-gay law.

Mr Anwar has always maintained the charges are part of a political smear campaign.

He was originally accused of having sex with a male aide in 2008 but was acquitted by the high court in 2012. The government appealed against the decision.

This week, the country’s top court is set to hear the appeal of his conviction, which could result in a sentence of up to 20 years in a cross-appeal.

Human Rights Watch has strongly demanded an end to his prosecution, saying Malaysian authorities “risk making a travesty of the country’s criminal justice system.”

Sodomy is a crime in Malaysia, punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

Same-sex sexual activity remains illegal in the country.

Mr Anwar has previously voiced his opposition to repealing the laws.