Malaysia‘s tourism minister has claimed there are no gay people in the southeast Asian country. Mohamaddin Ketapi was speaking to reporters ahead of the ITB Berlin tourism fair when he was asked whether homosexual people were welcome in his country. “I don’t think we have anything like that in our country,” he replied, according to German newspaper Deutsche Welle. Homosexual sex is illegal in the Muslim-majority country under a British Empire colonial era law. In September, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said his country cannot accept gay marriage.
A Russian couple has been arrested in Kuala Lumpur for child endangerment after video clips were shared online showing a man swinging an infant around as part of a street performance, according to state media Bernama. Members of the public had alerted the authorities to the suspected child abuse. Video of the initial performance shows a man holding the diaper-clad four-month-old infant by its legs, swinging the child through his legs and above his head, while other tourists sit nearby, chanting and playing instruments.
Malaysia’s king, who is known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, has abdicated in an unprecedented move, with his successor set to be elected in January. Sultan Muhammad V is stepping down immediately as the 15th King of Malaysia after serving since Dec. 13, 2016, according to a statement from the palace on Sunday which gave no reason for the abdication. Malaysia’s nine Malay state rulers elect the king among themselves through a rotational monarchy, with each term lasting for five years.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged with six counts of criminal breach of trust involving government funds of more than $1.5 billion on Thursday adding to the 32 counts for money laundering and graft. Razak’s former treasury chief was also charged with breach of trust. Both pleaded guilty to all charges.
Rosmah Mansor the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged with 17 counts of money laundering on Thursday in an investigation into billions of dollars missing from state coffers. Mansor and Najib are the target of a widespread graft probe launched following the surprise election of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in May.
Malaysian authorities released a report on the disappearance of flight MH370 on Monday. The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared in 2014 while carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The report failed to determine a cause but confirmed that someone was in control and ‘the change in flight path probably resulted from manual inputs.’
Police entered the home and four other connected locations of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday night for reasons that are not yet clear. Najib, whose government was riddled with corruption, was defeated last week in elections by Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir pledged to hold Najib accountable for his corruption.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced on Tuesday that multibillion-dollar China-financed projects in Malaysia have been canceled because they will put the country in an unsustainable amount of debt. Mahathir said Chinese authorities understood the reasons behind the cancellation and ‘accepted them.’ He also pointed out Malaysia’s current priority is reducing its national debt.
The former Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak was arrested and charged with criminal breach of trust and corruption on Wednesday in connection with a state investment fund scandal. Najib’s arrest comes weeks after he was ousted from power by voters largely due to long-standing corruption allegations. Najib stands to face 20 years in prison.
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad came out of retirement at the age of 92 and ousted the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition which has been in power since 1957 with a historic win, putting him on course to become the world’s oldest elected leader. Mahathir expects to be sworn in by Malaysia’s King on Thursday.