Cambridge – Dr Mahathir Mohamad, while speaking at the Cambridge Union on June 16 (Sunday), reiterated his stance on marriage and noted that Malaysia would not recognise same-sex marriage.
The Malaysian prime minister touched on gay marriage during his speech at the debating society of Cambridge University and described the idea to be “a regressive way of thinking.”
He repeated that Malaysia would not recognise same-sex marriages.
It was in October of last year, during a public lecture in Bangkok, when Dr Mahathir expressed his views on the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders) community. He noted that LGBT is a “Western value” that will not be accepted in Malaysia.
“At this moment, we do not accept LGBT but if they (the West) want to accept, that is their business. Don’t force it on us,” said the prime minister.
During his speech at Cambridge, Dr Mahathir stood by traditional marriage practice and said, “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.”
He added that an “absolute right” that permits people to do what they please does not exist,” reported The Malaysia Insight.
“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 an absolute right to do everything,” he said.
“To us, this is a regressive way of thinking,” added the prime minister, noting that the “institution of marriage is almost discarded.”
On the ‘Lazy Malay’
The prime minister also talked about the stereotype of the ‘lazy Malay’ and noted it was a generalisation established by the British that is not necessarily the truth, reported the Malay Mail.
Dr Mahathir said that there are countless hardworking Malays in the country who work tirelessly to improve their lives and could not be categorised as a ‘lazy Malay.’
“Generalisation is a common thing in a community whenever a comparison is made between two groups, people should not be offended over it,” said Dr Mahathir.
Although the topics he presented were similar to his speech at Oxford Union in January, Dr Mahathir engaged with the audience through his wit and humour, reported The Star.
The crowd was particularly amused when the prime minister poked fun at the British political system.
He mentioned how, “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.”
What elicited laughter and applause from the audience was his next line, “Therefore, when they criticise us as dictators, I don’t think they really mean it.”