KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is not abandoning the party he helped grow after staying the course for 20 years, his political secretary Hilman Idham said amid rumours of a crossover.
The Gombak Setia assemblyman stressed that Azmin believes in the “reformasi” agenda and that it was “impossible for him to quit”, news portal The Malaysian Insight reported Hilman as saying last night.
“He won big in the party elections and has strong support from all levels in the party.
“Keadilan is Azmin’s political foundation and he will remain in the party,” Hilman was quoted saying.
“These accusations are from those who have lost and will always lose to Azmin. They want Azmin out so they can steer the party where they wish. Fortunately, that will not happen,” he added, in response to rumours that intensified late yesterday that the economic affairs minister was quitting PKR for Pakatan Harapan ally, Bersatu — the new Malay party chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Rumour has it that Azmin will be taking 10 other PKR leaders with him, including its Wanita chief Zuraida Abdullah and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Utusan Malaysia also reported yesterday that Azmin could be joining former Barisan Nasional component party Gerakan.
The speculation stems from the perceived tiff that Azmin has with his president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, which has escalated after the minister was targeted in sex videos that first emerged in May.
Former PKR Santubong youth chief Haziq Aziz claimed Azmin as his lover in a confession video after the sex clips were leaked.
Haziq has been sacked from the party while Azmin has consistently denied the claims.
Party vice-president Chua Tian Chang was also reported by the same news portal as saying rumours of Azmin’s PKR exit was to create more internal chaos by causing a rift between the party’s two top leaders.
“Azmin’s loyalty to the party goes back 20 years,” he reportedly said.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said he has no confirmation of Azmin’s alleged resignation.
The minister is expected to hold a press conference on the matter today, according to the news portal.