Anwar tells PM he sympathises with Azmin, but can’t simply finger mastermind

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur June 20, 2019. — Picture via Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur June 20, 2019. — Picture via Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he shared with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad his sympathy for minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali over the latter’s sex video scandal.

Anwar said he had, in a meeting with the prime minister, slammed the sex videos implicating PKR deputy president Azmin, as gutter politics, but also said there should not be any baseless accusations on who had circulated the videos.

Referring to his brief meeting with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya before the latter left for Bangkok, Anwar said: “The two of us also discussed the sex video issue where I repeated the stand that PKR rejects the culture of ‘politik jijik’ (disgusting politics) and despicable politics and also shared feelings of sympathy towards Azmin Ali and his family.

“In further discussion, I stress that this issue has political elements, therefore it is not appropriate to baselessly accuse anyone of spreading the videos,” Anwar wrote on his Facebook page tonight.

Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak had on June 18 responded to claims that an alleged faction or “camp” under Anwar was involved in the sex video controversy as an attack on Azmin’s career, telling Malay Mail: “Let me correct you here, there is no camp and no one in PKR is involved in the attack”.

On June 12, Anwar had said there was no evidence to suggest that PKR members were involved in the release of the sex videos between two men that had been used to attack Azmin.

Anwar had then said the party leadership had also discussed how not to interrupt investigations as the matter is being probed by the police.

On June 14, Anwar said he disagreed with calls for Azmin to take a break from carrying out his government and party duties pending investigation and noted that this was not discussed by PKR leaders.

He reportedly said pressuring Azmin to go on leave would not have a positive impact to the leadership of PKR and Malaysia.

Anwar yesterday also disagreed with his aide Farhash’s comments that Azmin should step down from his party and government posts if he was proven to be involved in the sex video scandal.

Earlier today, Dr Mahathir said there was no need for Azmin to go on leave pending investigations into the alleged sex video scandal, noting that the latter will not be obstructing investigations.

Dr Mahathir also distinguished Azmin’s case from investigations in wrongdoings and crimes where taking leave would be appropriate, saying that this was instead a political matter by those seeking to embarrass Azmin.

Azmin’s accuser Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz had last week claimed that he and the former were engaged in sexual acts in the videos that were leaked.

Haziq insists he is a victim and has claimed the alleged tryst was supposed to be private but instead recorded and released to the public.

Azmin, on the other hand, has denied these allegations, insisting it is an inside job from those seeking to tarnish his reputation and destroy his political career.