Anwar says only talked economy with Azmin

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is pictured at the Parliament lobby October 15, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is pictured at the Parliament lobby October 15, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he only discussed economic matters during a public meeting today with his estranged deputy, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Initially declining to comment, Anwar finally relented after reporters pursued him to his car about 50m outside the entrance of Parliament to press him on the matter.

“No, that is only a normal meeting. We discuss about the country’s economic issues.

“Please save me from the riot; the party is under control, the party is fine,” he said before entering his car at about 1.15pm today.

About 45 minutes earlier, Anwar was seen sitting with Azmin and PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail at the cafe in the building.

It was the first time the top two PKR leaders have been publicly seen together outside of formal occasions or Pakatan Harapan events since the party election last year.

Meanwhile, Azmin, when met later in the afternoon, agreed with Anwar, saying that the mandate given by the people to save the economy is too big.

“That is the responsibility I have to handle, making sure that we can pay close attention to socio-economic level of the people,” the economic affairs minister said.

Azmin also denied any friction within the party, especially with him and Anwar.

About claims that he did not attend party meetings, Azmin said he has always been present at party events if he has no other government responsibilities.

“As a Muslim, we are asked to reflect on oneself. Why must I be persuaded to attend meetings? That is my responsibility.

“If there is any party gathering or discussion, I will attend. If there is no government engagement, I will attend party programmes,” he said.

Azmin was reportedly absent from several PKR meetings over the past few months, including the party’s special retreat in Port Dickson from July 19 to 21 during the height of an alleged sex video scandal involving him and another party member, Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil was quoted as saying that party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had issued a stern verbal reminder to PKR leaders not to skip the party’s meetings and activities in the future.

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