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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Utusan 'tells' Najib to block gay Christian pastor's NY wedding

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:04 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A call by the UMNO-owned Utusan newspaper to Prime Minister Najib Razak's government to "block" a Malaysian gay pastor’s wedding slated to take place in New York, USA, has raised eyebrows.
Many pundits point to the intensifying rivalry between Najib and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, against whom even US officials believe the PM is trying to pin trumped-up sodomy charges.

"Even Utusan cannot be so silly to think it can stop the US wedding. The BN can ban the pastor from returning to Malaysia just as they deported Scorpenes lawyer William Bourdon. But basically, it is another ploy to make sure Anwar remains discredited. If homosexuality is no longer viewed so harshly especially since the death of Ashraf, then public sentiment for Anwar will continue to rise. This is a baiting game that will worsen as the GE comes nearer," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
He was referring to Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abd Aziz, 25, who died from a heart attack just two weeks ago after failing to get a name change from unsympathetic authorities. Ashraf won huge sympathy and sparked soul searching amongst the conservative Muslim community if perhaps they were not too hemmed in by beliefs of the past.
Utusan, Najib's political weapon
Meanwhile, Utusan's editorial team gets its direction directly from the PM, who has used it to unleash some of the worst bouts of racism against Christians, the Chinese and the Jews. Among political rivals who have suffered the most from the Utusan's controversial coverage are Anwar, who despite a massive campaign to tar him is still regarded as the glue that holds the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition together.
On Monday, writing under the pen-name Awang Selamat, Utusan's editots warned that the Malaysian society’s value system might be compromised by the marriage of Ou Yang Wen Feng.
Ou, a 41-year old pastor who is due to wed his 47-year-old Afro-American partner, Phineas Newborn III, who is a Broadway musical producer. The two plan to marry at the end of the month and hold a dinner reception in Malaysia at a later date.
“Malaysian gay pastor Ou Yang Wen Feng’s attempt to break this value system to marry the same gender in this country has to be opposed. In fact the government has to act to block him. Day by day we see various attempts to destroy our value system and Pastor Ou is doing it in the open,” said Utusan in the Awang Selamat column.
Ou Yang, a former columnist with Sin Chew Daily, is currently in Hong Kong promoting his book on homosexuality and Christianity.
Najib and Rosmah and Sodomy II
Same-sex marriages in New York state became legal on July 24 under the Marriage Equality Act. Other states in the US that permit same-sex marriages are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.
Gays and lesbians’ rights are not recognised in Malaysia. Sodomy is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Homosexuality is also not recognised in Islam, the country's official religion.
This was the mean reason the UMNO leadership has tried to frame Anwar twice for sodomy. In 1998, as he became more popular than his boss, the then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar was sacked and jailed on manifestly fabricated charges which thrown out by the court in 2004. In 2008, just after he announced plans to make a parliamentary comeback, an aide lodged a fresh sodomy complaint against him after meeting Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor.
The high-profile Sodomy II trial is ongoing. Najib and Rosmah have refused to be interviewed by Anwar's lawyers or to take the witness stand, although they had met the complainant, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, whose sister is married to one of Najib's aides.
Najib's and Rosmah's refusal to co-operate has prompted talk that Anwar was right and the couple were guilty of conspiring with Saiful and top police officers to incriminate Anwar.

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