Aide implicated in sex video gone ‘AWOL’, says deputy minister

Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin speaks to the media at the Primary Industries and Commodities Ministry in Putrajaya June 13, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin speaks to the media at the Primary Industries and Commodities Ministry in Putrajaya June 13, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, June 12 — The aide to a deputy minister who was implicated in a sex video purportedly featuring a senior Cabinet minister has failed to show up for work since last Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin today said Muhammad Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz, who is his private secretary, has gone “AWOL”.

“I would say he has gone AWOL: Absent without leave,” Shamsul told a press conference here, adding that he last spoke to Haziq more than a week ago.

The deputy minister said the communication between them was merely work related.

Haziq’s behaviour had not been out of the ordinary, Shamsul added.

Shamsul announced at the press conference that the aide has been suspended with immediate effect and served a show-cause letter today.

He has three days to respond, failing which his contract will be automatically terminated, the deputy minister said.

But despite the suspension, Shamsul said his ministry cannot verify if Haziq was indeed the person who confessed on video to being one of the two men in the sex clip.

The controversy took a confusing turn when Santubong PKR leader Ahmad Nazib Johari and his division Youth wing chief Mohd Haziq said the person who claimed to be Haziq was an impostor.

They alleged that the real Haziq’s Facebook account may have been hacked as part of an elaborate ploy to attack Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is said to be the other person in the sex clip.

The person who claimed to be Haziq had made the so-called confessions on his Facebook page.

Haziq was employed by the ministry on a contractual basis. Shamsul described him as very able with a vast working experience.

He had worked with several ministers from past administrations, the deputy minister said.

Shamsul said Haziq as a fellow PKR member was among key party activists driving the reform movement among youths during his student days.

He later joined Perdana Fellow, a popular programme among ambitious political youth leaders headed by current Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Shamsul said Haziq was among those who applied for a position in his ministry after Pakatan Harapan took power, and that he had personally interviewed Haziq.

The deputy minister said the show-cause letter was issued on the grounds that Haziq was implicated in an act that taints the government’s image.

“Anything that can affect the image and reputation of the government, I think the ministry has every right to terminate a contractual post,” he said.

Azmin has categorically denied that it is him in the video and accused those behind it of character assassination. He claimed the culprits want to end his political career.

His aides have filed several reports with the authorities, including a Qazaf complaint with the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi), calling for it to investigate the person who made the confession.

At the moment, Haziq’s family members are also unaware of his whereabouts, according to the deputy minister.

“The family do not know where Haziq is, and of course, as family, they are very upset over the situation,” Shamsul said.

“So, as the employer, I instructed my officers to calm them down because as you know, family comes first.”