By Niluksi Koswanage

Gay Austrian fashionista Bruno will not be making an appearance on Malaysia's screens this summer for fear of corrupting this mostly-Muslim nation's youth.

But Malaysia's parents will still not have it easy as the country's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim  is again on trial for sodomy in a re-run of a 14-month case that in 1998 generated endless sexually explicit headlines and questions from curious children.

Photo: Anwar enters Kuala Lumpur courtoom with wife Wan Aziza Wasn Ismail for his sodomy trial on July 15/ Reuters (Zainal Abd Halim)

I was a teenager then when the former deputy prime minister was first found guilty of
sodomy and corruption in a marathon trial that featured graphic descriptions of anal
penetration, faithfully reported in lurid detail by this country's government-owned press and on prime-time TV.

(Photo: Anwar arrives in court on July 15, Reuters/

On my way to school, I saw angry protesters take to the streets and heard parents and teachers raging about children getting exposed to gay and straight sex (Anwar was accused of having an affair with a woman as well), accompanied by the kind of graphic descriptions usually reserved for specialist magazines.
A columnist in the normally staid government-run New Straits Times suggested at the time that all Malaysians should study a book to be entitled "An intelligent parent's guide to sodomy and other painful issues," based on the explicit testimony of Anwar's former driver who said he had been assaulted by Anwar and his adopted brother. Needless to say, he lost his column.
These were pre-YouTube days where sexual images were only available on illicit video recordings  and imported magazines. At the time, it was impossible to ignore the headlines as pro-government newspapers sought to tarnish Anwar's image.