Anwar to begin legal action against Utusan over ‘gay’ reports


I refer to certain reports published in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper on January 17th 2012 alleging that the Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had made statements in a BBC interview calling for the legalizing of homosexuality.

These reports are defamatory, scurrilous, politically motivated and gutter journalism of the lowest kind.

In the BBC interview, the Opposition Leader whilst calling for review of archaic laws, went on to state that “we, Muslim and non-muslim generally believe and are committed to support the sanctity of marriage between man and woman in Malaysia. We do not promote homosexuality in the public sphere and domain”. Thus the Utusan Malaysia report is completely and blatantly false.

Consistently lied

The UMNO-linked Utusan Malaysia newspaper has consistently published false, mischievous and scurrilous reports against the political opposition. Indeed, politically motivated and dishonest media reporting has become the norm among many mainstream media organizations such as Utusan Malaysia. This dismal state of affairs has been created, fostered and encouraged by the Barisan Nasional government.

In view of this, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has in the public interest begun legal action against Utusan Malaysia. Through his solicitors, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has on 17.1.2012 issued a demand notice against Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd which is the proprietor of Utusan Malaysia newspaper and against the Editor of Utusan Malaysia, demanding retraction of the above allegations, an apology and damages.

He brings this action as a matter of principle and in vindication of the people’s right to fair media reporting.

N Surendran is the PKR vice president and a human rights lawyer