Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has stated that the government will not tolerate excessive action or harassment against LGBT individuals.
He said while there is a consensus that Malaysia does not accept open public displays of LGBT, he does not approve of any attempt to harass them.
“Muslims and non-Muslims alike, there is a consensus – they do not accept this, open public displays of this (LGBT) but do we then go and harass them? That is a different subject. I do not approve of any attempt to harass,” said Anwar in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in New York on Saturday.
Anwar also expressed concern about the recent ban of Swatch’s Pride watches and the possible three-year prison sentence for those found guilty of flouting the ban.
“The consensus of the people, I have to respect. But it should not be seen as harassment,” added Anwar.
He emphasized that the Malaysian government is committed to stopping the spread of harmful elements in society and has made it clear that the law should be reviewed to prevent abuses and political persecution.
“I have made it quite clear that we have to review, look at the law; it should not be abused, in the case that I went through it was used for political persecution, but finally we have to respect the general sentiments of Malaysians,” said Anwar.