‘Powerful’ Mukhriz free to sue a ‘nobody’ like me, says former aide

Azrin Zizal says Mukhriz Mahathir can afford to take legal action if he wants to.

PETALING JAYA: The former aide who said Mukhriz Mahathir had benefitted from the services of a firm linked to controversial British political consultant Cambridge Analytica (CA) said the PPBM deputy president was free to take him to court if he could prove that he was lying.

“Who is En Azrin Zizal compared to Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Mukhriz bin Tun Dr Mahathir? I am a nobody compared to him, a millionaire from a distinguished lineage,” said Azrin Zizal, who now heads the Southeast Asia division of SCL Group, the parent group of CA.

“If he feels challenged by a nobody calling him out on his lies, then he can easily afford to hire the best lawyers to institute proceedings,” he told FMT.

The war of words between the two was sparked after Barisan Nasional (BN) distanced itself from CA, following a claim that it had hired the company to help its campaign to wrest Kedah from PAS in the last polls.

BN has denied hiring CA, and instead said it was informed by Azrin that Mukhriz had benefited from the company’s expertise.

Mukhriz has rejected the claim, saying Azrin was “absolutely delusional” for saying that he helped BN sweep to victory in Kedah.

Mukhriz also denied that Azrin, who was his aide when he was federal deputy minister between 2008 and 2013, had continued to work during the 2013 general election, which saw Mukhriz’s rise as the Kedah menteri besar.

However, Azrin has again insisted that Mukhriz was lying.

“He was the main beneficiary of international intellectual and psychographic know-how, and that he now claims to have done it all by himself just goes to show the size of his ego,” he said.

“He was enjoying himself, reaping the benefits of BN’s win in Kedah when it benefitted him, and now he conveniently denies the hard work, long hours, commitment and loyalty put in by those serving him.”

CA made global headlines over the past week after it was accused of extracting data belonging to 50 million Facebook users without consent, in the campaign to help Donald Trump win the US presidential election last year.

On its website, the company said it had also conducted operations in Malaysia, including helping BN win in Kedah with a “targeted messaging campaign”.

Speaking as a Malaysian voter, Azrin believes politicians must be honest with the electorate.

“Voters want to see development, progress and a significant improvement to their lives and those of their children. Politicians who serve the people by delivering what they need, instead of continually criticising or hurling allegations, are the ones who will get support,” he said.

“It is good to have analytics and to understand your electorate but they must stop all this politicking and deliver results to them.”