Anwar says unfazed by rumours Azmin may stand between him and PM’s post

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 18, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 18, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dismissed speculation that his deputy could be an obstacle to him becoming prime minister, saying he has the necessary backing from Pakatan Harapan to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Commenting on talk that the ongoing sex video scandal implicating Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was part of a larger conspiracy for the government’s top post, he described such rumours as a non-issue.

“I have the numbers, the support of Pakatan Harapan MPs and the prime minister, so it’s not fair to me or Azmin to say otherwise.

“What we want to express is our disgust at the gutter politics being played now,” he said in the lobby of Parliament today.

This morning, 23 members of the PKR central committee openly rebuked Anwar in a joint statement for suggesting Azmin should resign as the economic affairs minister if the sex videos are genuine.

Anwar also suggested that he should not have responded to the media yesterday, when he said Azmin should resign as economic affairs minister if the videos are proven to be genuine.

This caused Azmin to react angrily by telling Anwar to “look in the mirror” and prompted a public rebuke of the PKR president by 23 members of his party’s central committee and four of its federal lawmakers.

“I did look at the mirror this morning, but I don’t think it’s fair to exploit this remark. I don’t feel unnecessarily upset by what he said. I thought he should have read the full text and the context.

“I feel I should not have responded to the media, on the veracity of the issue, but it’s not easy to avoid you guys.

“However, I take the criticism in a positive light,” Anwar added.

The PKR president then said he has contacted his deputy about the matter but declined to divulge the details form the discussion.

He also conceded that most news reports of him saying Azmin should resign were accurate but lamented that these were sensationally titled.

“My main point was that we should just wait for the police report, and then we shall decide what action to take,” he explained.