Mahathir says no to gay marriage, admits he sometimes agrees with lazy Malay stereotype

Mahathir showing consistency on such issues.

Matthias Ang | June 18, 2019, 01:35 AM

Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was on a three-day working trip to London, from June 15 to 17.

In his speech on June 16 at the Cambridge Union, the debating society of Cambridge University, he touched on gay marriage in Malaysia and the stereotype of the lazy Malay.

Mahathir's comments appeared in both The Malaysian Insight and The Malay Mail.

No gay marriage in Malaysia

Reiterating his past stance, which is an opposition to LGBT rights, Mahathir said again that Malaysia will not recognise same-sex marriage.

He called it a "regressive way of thinking", The Malaysian Insight highlighted.

Elaborating on his stance, Mahathir said marriage was about having children and he claimed that the institution of marriage has almost been discarded.

As per Mahathir:

"I don’t understand gay marriage... Marriage is about producing children. Do you get children in a gay marriage? What do they do? They adopt children and things like that. Today, the institution of marriage is almost discarded. No marriage, no family... what are we going to be?"

Additionally, same-sex marriage also fell outside the limits of rights, as it was impossible for absolute rights, which made everything permissible to exist.

He said:

"Simply because you think people are free to do what they like... a man marrying a man, a woman marrying a woman... that’s okay as it is their right, but rights have got limits. There is no such thing as absolute right to do everything."

Lazy Malay is a generalisation

As for the stereotype of the lazy Malay, Mahathir said it was a generalisation that was imposed by the British, and did not necessarily reflect the truth, The Malay Mail reported.

But he had previously said he sometimes agree Malays are lazy, but it did not apply to all:

"While I do agree with that sometimes, it is still merely a generalisation. I know there are many Malays out there who are hardworking and make an effort to improve their lives."

Mahathir also claimed that generalisations were a common occurrence whenever two groups of people were compared and added that people should not take offence:

"Generalisation is a common thing in a community whenever a comparison is made between two groups, people should not be offended over it."

Crowd amused by Mahathir's speech

The Star reported that the crowd was generally amused by Mahathir's speech, especially with regard to his jabs at the British political system.

On this matter, Mahathir said:

"For example, in parliament the speaker is not allowed to speak. Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth but there is nothing much in common with the wealth dominated by certain countries. The British acknowledged the Malay sultans as rulers but the sultans never ruled."

He then ironically quipped that this meant the British were not serious in their criticism of dictators:

"Therefore, when they criticise us as dictators, I don't think they really mean it."

Crowd composition

The crowd he spoke to consisted of Cambridge undergraduates, Malaysians living in the UK and undergraduates, his wife, Malaysia Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

When subsequently asked by the floor if the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition retain their place in the next election, Mahathir replied:

"It depends on you, if you vote for us, we will return."

Here's what Mahathir has said about Malays in general:

And here's what he has said about LGBT issues in Malaysia:

Top image from Mahathir Mohamad Facebook