PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian ministers have criticised Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for suggesting that the activities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community might incur God's wrath on the nation.
They said the focus should instead be on pressing issues such as corruption.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said instead of LGBT, corruption was the "biggest social ill and immoral activity" in Malaysia.
"Of all the pressing issues the Opposition leader @Zahid_Hamidi could have raised, he chose this."
"Corruption is the biggest social ill and immoral activity in Malaysia. State Umno's stance on this instead," she said on her Twitter account on Tuesday (Oct 23).
During Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday, former deputy prime minister Zahid remarked that the nation might possibly face God's wrath due to the actions of the LGBT community.
He said the recent earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Indonesia, happened because of God's punishment for LGBT activities taking place there.
"If we look at the situation in Malaysia, we are concerned over the incident of earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Indonesia, recently, where it is believed more than 1,000 of them were involved in such activities."
"But the whole area was destroyed as part of God's punishment."
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman asked Zahid what fate might befall those who stole the people's money.
"How about those who are corrupt and in cahoots with those who steal the people's money? Will misfortune fall?" he asked.
Syed Saddiq said in his ministry, 12 people had been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), adding that in Umno, there had been so many that he had lost count.
"I have never heard that misfortune would fall because of (the act of) a thief," he said.
Zahid was hit last Friday (Oct 19) with 45 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.