A Malaysian minister has publicly said that he believes his country does not have any gay people.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohammaddin Ketapi was in Berlin, Germany on March 5 when he was asked by a German reporter whether gay people were welcomed in Malaysia.
Mohammaddin said: “I don’t think we have anything like that (gay people) in our country.”
The remark was reported by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and carried by Malaysian media site Malaysiakini .
Mohammddin, a member of the Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN) and the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, was in town to attend ITB Berlin a major tourism trade fair.
According to DW, he had also “sidestepped” an earlier question when asked if Malaysia was a safe country for gay and Jewish people.
Mohammaddin earlier made headlines in October 2018, when he was accused of using public funds to bring his family along on an official visit to Singapore.
He said that he had paid for their expenses himself.
Mahathir against gay rights
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been a firm opponent of gay rights.
In September 2018, he said that Malaysia would not support gay marriage .
And in October 2018, he said that Malaysia would not “copy” the West in accepting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.
Top image from Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and ITB Berlin’s Facebook page.
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