At Raya open house, Azmin ducks calls to go on leave over sex scandal

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said he has given his commitment to fully cooperate with any investigation into the matter. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said he has given his commitment to fully cooperate with any investigation into the matter. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Datuk Seri Azmin Ali sidestepped questions about the need for him to step aside as economic affairs minister pending investigations into sex videos allegedly implicating him, stressing that he aimed to rise above it.

The Malaysiakini news portal reported Azmin as responding to such questions by citing Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s previous remarks rejecting the authenticity of the clips earlier this week.

“As mentioned by the prime minister, the message was very loud and clear — stop this gutter politics,” he told reporters during a Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration at Bukit Antarabangsa’s mosque, where he serves as MP.

Azmin said he has given his commitment to fully cooperate with any investigation into the matter.

He added his focus remains on delivering as a minister and to support the prime minister’s policies.

“It is our duty as leaders of Harapan and as the new government to stick to the new policies, new approaches and new politics. We have to defend value-based politics, and we will continue to move forward to deliver for the people,” Azmin said.

Yesterday PKR-linked NGO Otai Reformis urged Azmin to take a leave of absence pending the resolution of the scandal in order to preserve Pakatan Harapan’s image.

On Tuesday, the first wave of two videos about 90 seconds each were spread to journalists on a WhatsApp group created for the purpose.

Later the same day, Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz, the senior private secretary to Primary Industries Deputy Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, allegedly admitted on his Facebook page to being the other person in the video.

Haziq was arrested yesterday while trying to leave the country and is currently in the custody of the police who are investigating him over four offences including unnatural sex and distributing pornography.