Daily Telegraph: Lloyd's saviour was gay lover (Jul 27)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lloyd's saviour was gay lover

By Lisa Davies
July 27, 2008 12:00am

WHEN he was called to give evidence in a packed Singapore court last week, Mohamed Mazlee bin abdul Malik knew his cover was blown.

Until then, the Malay-Singaporean had led a relatively unexceptional life.

But since he was revealed as the lover of Australian newsman Peter Lloyd, his life has been torn apart.

Mazlee, 37, is the man supporting the respected foreign correspondent in his darkest hour.

Lloyd is facing not only a minimum of five years' jail on drug charges, but also disgrace in the eyes of his boyfriend's country.

In the face of such potential local condemnation, however, Mazlee has stood up to be counted.

Not only has he stumped up 60,000 Singaporean dollars ($45,000) to ensure his friend's freedom until the charges are finalised, he will have Lloyd under his charge and care until he most likely goes to jail.

Mazlee has also had to promise the court he will make a citizen's arrest of his lover if he tries to flee the country or breach his bail in any other way.

To the court, he was just a good friend of Lloyd, as homosexuality is still technically illegal in Singapore.

But sources have told The Sunday Telegraph the couple were extremely close and were enjoying all the trappings of a new union.

"I know his family, I know his wife, I know his kids. I know his sister, I know his brother-in-law,'' Mazlee told the Subordinates Court last week.

"In any case, he will be staying in my place.''

As a Singapore Airlines steward, Mazlee has travelled the world and had dozens of friends in all corners of the globe.

He met Lloyd about a year ago, just before the journalist formally came out as a gay man and embraced his new lifestyle.

But as Mazlee stood to reveal himself publicly as his saviour, an orange jumpsuit-clad Lloyd hung his head, barely able to look at his boyfriend.

He had originally asked his Singaporean lawyer to post bail, but in the eyes of the court that is not an acceptable arrangement.

Although the money must be provided by a local person, that person must be known to the accused.

It also must be their own money, which Mazlee swore was his. As one local source put it, the Singaporean has done "the most noble act possible''.

But for Lloyd, it was heart-wrenching. Those close to him know he never wanted to put his lover in this position.

Before the drama began, Mazlee seems to have been a carefree man highly respected by his friends.

His page on an Asian social networking site carries a string of photographs of him with friends in Shanghai, Zurich, New York, Germany, the Canary Islands and Italy.

He lists his hobbies as music, swimming, gym and movies, and says he is a Duran Duran aficionado.

A former lover, identified as Joachim, describes Mazlee as "the most valuable person I have ever met in my life''.