KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― The owner of Hausboom has apologised to Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for his coarse remarks and denied accusations of being an “Umno mercenary”.
In an interview with Sinar Harian, Azri Zahier Azmi, 30 said that he regretted his words, and admitted that he was overly emotional when expressing his disappointment with Syed Saddiq who had promised to promote his product.
He also denied being involved in any political party.
“Frankly, I am a true entrepreneur and one can look up my background. I have been doing business since nine-years old. I sold fruits by the roadside.
“Check any party records, I am not a member of any party, as far as I know, if anyone registered me, then I don't know.
“But I vehemently deny. However, I do not deny that there are family members of mine who are involved in politics, but it does not mean that I too an a politician as being accused,” he was quoted saying.
Azri said that his brand was developed from scratch, together with a 30-men team, adding that this was done without any help from political parties.
He also lamented that the incident with Syed Saddiq has become a “black history” in his life.
“The issue of me going overboard, let it be a personal history for me. I have been terribly criticised, with various threats being made towards my mother, father, siblings, wife and my children who were all faced with it.
“Let it be, I do not want to talk about this matter, it is better to discuss about business development,” he added.
Last week, Azri removed a Facebook post calling Syed Saddiq a 'pig' and replaced it with an apology, after initially accusing the the Muar MP of not living up to his promise to promote the soft drink.
While apologising for his choice of words towards Syed Saddiq, Azri remained defensive and said his disappointment was over the unfulfilled promises and hope given to not only him, but many others.
He said that it only cost him RM192 to engage with the ministry, the ministry could at least reimburse this if it could not deliver.
He also claimed it took four months to obtain the minister’s response, and that he had to use all his connections to remind Syed Saddiq of his promise.
After Azri's post, Syed Saddiq fired back on social media and disclosed that he not only brought the drink to a Cabinet meeting but also spoke to tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan about possibly carrying the product in the 7-11 convenience stores.
Tan’s son, Morvin Tan, confirmed the meeting, before calling the criticism of Syed Saddiq unfair.