PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has denied that he is bisexual or homosexual, saying the allegations are Umno propaganda.
"I am happily married with six children," he said when pressed during an interview with commercial radio station BFM, according to podcast uploaded on its official website this morning.
"There are liberal voters among us who can accept a PM even if he is a homosexual or bisexual, but this is not acceptable by the more conservative Muslims. Are you a homosexual or bisexual?" asked the interviewer.
Anwar's answer to the provocative question was that his opponents had charged him twice, but had failed to provide any evidence to back up the accusation.
He described the whole affair as Umno propaganda, making him a victim of malicious attacks when the issue was irrelevant and unfair to him, he said.
"Whether a person is homosexual or bisexual, is a personal matter, if you were to charge him or her, you have to have concrete evidence," he said, adding that they tried to portray him as one but failed.
"Of course, it's very clear (that I am not)," he shot back when repeatedly pressed for an answer.
Not aired fearing censorship
The interview on the Klang Valley business radio station was originally intended to be aired on its free to air radio channel 89.9.
The station however expected the Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) would ultimately reject it, based on past experience.
"We are required by MCMC, our regulators, to inform them of all our interviews in advance.
"Although, in our view, this interview does not breach any provisions of the (Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, CMA) or the Content Code, from our past experience, it was most likely that this interview would have been rejected for broadcasting.
"Indeed, even an informative, conciliatory interview with (Australian senator) Nick Xenophon that we did last week got rejected," said BFM founder and managing director Malek Ali when contacted today.
They held an internal discussion and decided to make the interview available only on podcast, he said.
Last month Xenophon was detained for 15 hours at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and denied entry for allegedly being an 'enemy of the state', and finally deported .
Khalid to continue as MB
Meanwhile, during the 40-minute interview that covered a number of topics, Anwar said Khalid Ibrahim will continue to as Selangor mentri besar if the Pakatan retains power.
"For now, we are settled on Khalid Ibrahim," he said.
Anwar brushed aside rumours that his wife and party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail may be fielded in Selangor and a possible candidate for the MB's post if the Pakatan is returned to power.
"This is a compliment to her, but I know her well enough to know that she is not interested, she has said she had served, she will continue to help in the campaign throughout the country," he said.
Anwar blamed his opponents for manipulating the MB candidate issue when speculation arose that Khalid ( right ) is set to defend his Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat.
"They tried to manipulate, because I went to Bandar Tun Razak and announced his candidacy in Bandar Tun Razak, that caused some excitement as though I am throwing him up to federal government level," he said.
He said that Pakatan is practising the tradition where a chief minister or mentri besar can also vie for a parliamentary seat.
"Our tradition being like Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who is also an MP, I think that can be continue although we do not encourage PKR candidates contesting both seats," he said in the 40-minute interview.
On the possibility of Selangor returning to the BN, 'No way' was Anwar's retort as the ruling coalition cannot compete with Pakatan in terms of delivery and service.
Rumours had been rife that Khalid might lose his grip on the MB's post as party deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali was eyeing that office and this has raised concern among certain circles.
Anwar, painted as political chameleon by his opponents, defended his credentials when asked if he can be trusted taking into account his previous involvement in Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim), Umno and later encouraging BN MPs to switch camps.
"I think my credentials in the Malay associations, students movement and Islamic youth movement helped to strengthen and fortify (my) credentials as a Malay Muslim leader," he said in rebuttal.
He said that had he not been an Abim leader, he would not have attracted all those attacks such as those on sexual misconduct, sexual misdemeanour and being painted as an Israeli and US agent, meant to demolish him completely.
When asked on the candidate for Pakatan's deputy prime minister, Anwar said the responsibility for the decision was not his.
He said Pakatan has not discussed the matter as the coalition's main interest is securing victory in the coming polls.