Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby has hit out at claims made by a member of the Malaysian Parliament that he is a “homosexual activist”.
The comment was made on April 14 while Danby was in the region, participating in the World Movement for Democracy 2010 Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“To accuse me of a being a strong supporter of the gay and lesbian community is a badge I wear with pride,” Danby said in a statement last week.
Youth chief of Malaysia’s ruling UMNO party, Khairy Jamaluddin called Danby a “homosexual activist” in Malaysia’s Parliament because of a petition organised by Danby criticising the ongoing trial of Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on the charge of sodomy.
“I have information, but I want to ask the Ministry whether they know that Danby is a homosexual activist, and is also pro-Israel,” Jamaluddin said, The Malaysian Insider reported.
Jamaluddin said he had led a group protesting against the petition at the Australian Embassy.
In February, Danby presented a letter, calling for the sodomy charges against Ibrahim to be dropped, to the Malaysian High Commissioner. The letter was signed by more than 60 Australian MPs.
It’s the second time the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister has been on trial for the charges.
In 2000 Ibrahim was sentenced to nine years for sodomy, however, the conviction was later overturned and he was released in 2004.
“When I first presented the petition on behalf of Australian parliamentarians to the Malaysian Ambassador in Canberra, Mr Khairy suggested I was gay at a UMNO rally in Kuala Lumpur,” Danby said.
“To try and imply that the petition is not valid because the author is a supporter of the gay and lesbian community is a sad and pathetic attempt to deflect Malaysian opinion.”

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