Khalid Samad to sue NGO head over gay fest claim

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad speaks to reporters after a media briefing at Carcosa Seri Negara in Kuala Lumpur August 21, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said today he will sue the chairman of a Muslim group who accused him of approving a purported gay festival here.

Khalid dismissed the allegation as baseless, saying Gerakan Muslimah Malaysia chief Wan Asshima Kamaruddin made bald claims.

“Of course, this is baseless. This woman didn’t even provide any evidence to support her claims,” Khalid told reporters after speaking at the prelaunch of the Diversecity KL Art Festival 2018 event here.

“So I will take legal action and sue her.”

Wan Assimah alleged the FT minister and a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department authorised a festival supposedly to celebrate the gay community in Kuala Lumpur.

The allegation was recorded on video and shared openly on YouTube two days ago.

In the video, she congratulated the two ministers for allowing the festival to take place, which she claimed was to be held in conjunction with Merdeka celebrations on August 31.

“This festival is sure to draw all the LGBT groups to gather where lesbians, gays, biosexuals (sic), transgender, transman (sic) can gather to celebrate their victory and freedom in conjunction with Merdeka day,” the woman said.

“I am confident that this YB is very proud of the LGBT group but not of me or the muslimah movement in Malaysia,” she added.

Two police reports have been lodged against her since the video was published.

They were filed by Zulhazmi Shariff, special functions officer to Khalid and the lawyer representing the minister, along with Hisham Fauzi, the special functions officer to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

There has been a surge of anti-LBGT sentiment lately as conservatives take aim at the new administration’s moderate approach to dealing with the group, which is fighting for equal treatment.

Homosexual intercourse is condemned in Islam and outlawed in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

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