PM Defends Islam, Leaves “Gay Reform” Anwar Stranded
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has branded the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community an “enemy of Islam” that must be fought nationwide.
“LGBTs, pluralism, liberalism ― all these ‘isms’ are against Islam and it is compulsory for us to fight these,” he said.
Najib said his Government supports human rights, but “we must do so within the boundaries set by Islam.”
He was speaking to a gathering of over 11,000 imams and mosque committee members in Serdang in what was a long-standing speaking commitment. But his comments couldn’t have been better timed.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had appeared Wednesday as a witness in his own lawsuit against Utusan Malaysia. In court he opposed homosexuality, but then controversially echoed his earlier call for a reform of Malaysia’s laws on homosexual activity.
Anwar might have thought he could please both sides of the argument with his seemingly contradictory stance but he succeeded only in leaving Muslim voters wanting clarification and reassurance.
Did Anwar mean a Pakatan Rakyat Government would allow overt homosexuality? It would seem to now be more likely given what he said in court.
But Najib’s unequivocal position has now given voters the reassurance they were seeking after Anwar’s unsettling decision to dictate social policy from the witness box.
The Prime Minister once again reminded us of the unique composition of Malaysia. Yes, we are a multi-ethnic, multi-faith society where different peoples and religion co-exist side-by-side in what is an enviable, tolerant nation. This remains true despite the attempts of Pakatan politicians to ceaselessly play the race card.
But Najib has also reminded us that while being multi-faith, we are still an Islamic nation. It is written into our constitution because that is what the people wanted when we finally rid ourselves of colonial rule.
Politically, Najib’s comments leave Pakatan in a sticky position yet again. Not only has he countered Anwar’s contradictions with the sense of certainty we expect from a strong leader, but he has starved PAS of its main pitch to voters.
PAS says it will defend Islam in the face of secularism, liberalism and pluralism. Don’t worry, Najib will do that.
PAS says it will ensure Islam is asserted through central Government. Don’t worry, Najib will do that.
PAS will introduce laws that defend Islam at the expense of the Constitution and the courts.
Don’t be silly, Najib won’t commit to that. This is a leader who knows that defending Islam doesn’t mean riding roughshod over the Constitution and everything we hold dear.
That’s because, more than anyone, Najib understands what is unique and beautiful about Malaysia, through our history, our beliefs, our Constitution and our values.
The Choice has long predicted that Anwar will pay a high price for trying to be all things to all men. This is because in the process of straddling both sides of an ideological issue, he merely portrays himself as a man unwilling to take a stand and be judged on it.
True courage in a politician is when he can look in the eye people who don’t agree with him, without feeling the need to immediately change his tune.
Anwar can’t do that. Najib can. –The Choice