Najib blames audience for slur on LGBT, night owls

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he did not mean to ridicule the LGBT community or those who plied highways at night when he was criticising the PH government’s plan to abolish tolls at four highways from 11pm to 5am. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he did not mean to ridicule the LGBT community or those who plied highways at night when he was criticising the PH government’s plan to abolish tolls at four highways from 11pm to 5am. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed today he was repeating phrases from the audience when he made remarks viewed as demeaning to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

He said on his Facebook page he did not mean to ridicule the group or those who plied highways at night when he was criticising the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s plan to abolish tolls at four highways from 11pm to 5am.

“If you watch the video clip from the chat session last night, I was only repeating what was shouted by the audience who attended the ceramah, in response to my question.

“I admit that I went with the answers and responses given by last night’s audience. I humbly apologise if any were offended,” he said in the statement.

In the clip, Najib mocked the PH plan for removing tolls at night, saying it would only benefit “ghosts, alcoholics, LGBT, and their customers”.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced on Saturday plans to replace highway tolls with a congestion charge system beginning with the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (KESAS) and SMART Tunnel.

The plan includes toll-free use of the four highways during off-peak hours between 11pm and 5am.