Earlier in April after Brunei passed a Sharia law that sentences homosexual people to death by stoning, several celebrities from the United States joined in hand to announce a public boycott on international hotels own by the Sultan of Brunei.
George Clooney and Ellen DeGeneres were among the forerunners to push the boycott, where the latter’s Facebook post on the issue was reshared over 316,000 times.
During DeGeneres’ talk show published on YouTube last Thursday (May 9), Clooney appeared as a guest to talk about the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)-humanitarian crisis in Brunei and said that the boycott movement has made Brunei to put a moratorium on the law.
Clooney continued that the achievement can now act as a “warning shot” to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, who he said, are also considering to enact such laws.
Clooney also gave props to Elton John, who is a publicly gay English singer, for successfully making a change in Brunei together. DeGeneres came out gay in Hollywood in 1997.
In Malaysia, we do not have laws against homosexuality per se but there are laws that prosecute unnatural sex. The biggest victim of the law is Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim who was jailed on sodomy charges twice who he claimed they were politically motivated imprisonments.
Despite that, Anwar has now become the latest Pakatan Harapan leader to criticize Clooney’s comment on Malaysia, FMT reported.
The PKR president and Prime Minister-in-waiting said Malaysia should not be affected by the international pressure when it comes to LGBT issues. While the nation has to take consideration of the international community, he said foreigners do not have any right to dictate terms on the issue.
“You must realise that Americans decide on their own evolution they don’t care about the views of others. The Germans decide on themselves, the Chinese decide for themselves, why must Malaysia be dictated to by the rest?
“There are general humanitarian issues, which concerns human rights or justice… but to suggest that America or other foreigners dictate terms, [and] we must abide, I don’t think we can govern like that,” he said after attending the National Youth Conference 2019 today (May 15).
“They can give suggestions, but we should not bow down to pressure.
“We must always stand up for the country and not feel pressured by external reactions,” Anwar added.
The Star reported Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya as saying that Clooney has mistakenly commented on Malaysia that the country is considering death penalty for homosexuality. He added that Malaysia is a Muslim-majority nation that rejects LGBT culture.
Malaysia has made international headlines back in March after our Tourism Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi denied the existence of LGBT people in the country.
In October last year, a senior officer from Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said that Malaysia has 310,000 homosexuals in the country but it was only a “preliminary” figure that it had not been confirmed by the Ministry of Health, Malay Mail reported.
We also gained international condemnation after Terengganu carried out public caning on two women who were caught having sex in a car.
You can watch George Clooney’s segment on the next page.