AN Australian lawmaker who is aligned with anti-Islamic causes in the country has reportedly sought surgical treatment for weight loss in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
Australian media reports said George Christensen, who weighs 176kg and is also known as “Big George”, recently spoke about his radical surgery in the Southeast Asian country to remove 85 percent of his stomach.
After returning to Australia this week, the federal Nationals MP from Queensland said he needed to make a drastic move after realising his weight problem several years ago.
“The last couple of years I really began to notice the health impacts of being overweight,” the MP said, as quoted by News.com.au (via The Australian).
“And when you reach the size I did, exercise just becomes excruciating.
“I eventually found this company — they specialise in this sort of procedure — and last month I went over to Kuala Lumpur and underwent the surgery.”
Despite having earlier misgivings about undergoing the procedure, Christensen said he went ahead with it.
He indicated the procedure was successful, having lost five kilogrammes during the operation and another five since. In the next 18 months, he is expected to lose about 80kgs after undergoing a Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy operation.
Thanks to the surgery, he will only be able to eat four to five spoonfuls of food, five or six times a day, for the rest of this life.
“I wanted to ensure, like my grandfather, I could reach 96 years of age,” he said.
The surgery, according to News.com.au involved turning his stomach from a “ball into a sleeve” and wrapping a gastric ring that prevented it from expanding.
Christensen said “every diet under the sun” had failed to produce desired results and his lifestyle of constantly being on the road and rarely eating at home had seen him gain weight since he won the Dawson seat in 2010.
In February, Christensen defended his attendance at a controversial anti-Islam function, saying he attended an anti-halal fundraiser in Melbourne to push back against “erosion of free speech by the Left” in Australia, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“They are protesting against us for being against radical Islam when Sharia law doesn’t allow free speech, subjugates women and has the death penalty for homosexuality,” Christensen said at the time.
“I also pointed out that many great minds would have fallen foul of our anti-discrimination laws for criticising Islam, including Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Dante, Voltaire, Mark Twain and Carl Jung amongst many others.”