KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — A Muslim activist apologised to Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad today after he previously said he would sue her for claiming he approved a “gay festival”, but provided what she said was “evidence” of its existence.
Wan Asshima Kamaruddin, president of Muslim women coalition Gerakan Muslimah Islam Malaysia (GMIM), insisted she never meant to embarrass Khalid in her since-removed video containing the initial allegation.
“If the video was misinterpreted as accusing him and government departments, I hereby apologise as I had no intention of embarrassing and challenging his position as federal territories minister.
“I truly hope that they will be more focused on the issue of saving youths who are increasingly deviating far from the true path of Islam and crack down on gambling, drugs and so on; not play with emotions or get personal by suing me,” she told reporters here opposite the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.
Wan Asshima claimed her video was meant to alert Khalid to the purported gay festival and urged him to use his powers to block the events and all activities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Reiterating that she meant no offence, she claimed such “gay festivals” took place even when Barisan Nasional (BN) was still in power.
“With the new government, do work and stop this before it becomes cancerous, because we see the majority — 70 per cent — who attend are our Malay-Muslim community,” she said, further claiming that she believed that no ethnic groups would support such an event.
When asked if she was specifically apologising over her words in the video, she said her remarks then were harsh and acknowledged she was outspoken, before apologising for her manner.
On Tuesday, Khalid said he would sue Wan Asshima for reportedly accusing him and another minister, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, in an August 17 video of allegedly approving the purported gay fest, pointing out that she did not substantiate her claims.
Two separate police reports have since been lodged by the special officers of the two ministers.
When pressed if she had so accused the two ministers in the video, Wan Asshima sidestepped the question by claiming she knew no government would approve such events.
However, she argued that such events generally needed local council approval and expressed suspicion that this may have been given already.
Wan Asshima confirmed to Malay Mail today that she has not received any legal letters demanding an apology.
She told reporters she personally contacted Mujahid through WhatsApp to convey her apology, and asked Khalid’s lawyer to arrange a meeting for her to personally apologise to him and find a solution.
The activist added that she lodged a police report on August 21 over the event and for her own protection.
The “evidence” of the alleged gay fest turned out to be a poster of a three-day dance event featuring 14 DJs from August 30 to September 1, which she showed to reporters.
She said the tickets to the event have been on sale since June and were still available online.
She confirmed she provided the same “evidence” to the police, adding that she had tried to obtain tickets but was unsuccessful.
The activist did not explain what specifically about the event made it a “gay fest” as the poster appeared to be for a typical electronic dance music (EDM) festival.
She did question why she was singled out for response, insisting that other Muslim groups such as Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) Youth and the Federal Territories PAS Youth also issued statements over the matter.
Wan Asshima told Malay Mail that GMIM was formed two months ago and comprises over 30 Malay and Muslim NGOs, including Alif Bata Srikandi, which she also heads.
Pertubuhan Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia’s (MJMM) Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah, who gained fame previously for lodging multiple police reports, was also present to provide support.