Don’t pressure Azmin to take leave, urges Anwar

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (left) has a word with the party’s information chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin at a Raya open house in Melaka today. (Bernama pic)

MELAKA: There is no need to pressure Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali to go on leave, said PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, said applying pressure on the PKR deputy president to do so would not have a positive impact on the leadership of the party and country as this will instead aggravate the situation.

“I do not agree that Azmin should take a break from carrying out his government and party duties, like the call made by certain parties, including the Otai Reformasi reform movement.

“In fact, this was not even discussed at PKR’s political bureau meeting yesterday.

“We in PKR do not stop people from criticising because the party practises a free political culture.

“Everyone can put forward their views, but my advice is to make fewer statements and give way to the investigations that are already ongoing.”

Anwar said this when met at the Aidilfitri open house hosted by the Hang Tuah Jaya parliamentary constituency at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) in Ayer Keroh here today.

Earlier today, Otai Reformasi had demanded that Putrajaya ask Azmin to go on leave in the wake of sex videos that allegedly implicated him.

Asked if the controversy affected him, Anwar said such accusations were nothing new to him.

“In politics, I have been through this for 20 years. I see it, in the context of the party, as a minor thing.

“Perhaps (the accusations against Azmin) is the work of people without positions … those who lost in the party elections,” he said.

Video clips went viral on social media this week depicting two men engaging in homosexual acts.

Haziq Aziz, an aide to Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, later claimed that he was the individual seen in the clip and identified Azmin as the second person.

Azmin has since strongly denied claims that he is the person, describing it as a “nefarious plot to destroy my political career” and has threatened legal action.

Shamsul, who is also Hang Tuah Jaya MP and PKR information chief, was also at the Raya function.

He said he had given his statement to Melaka police over the video and promised to cooperate with the police in their investigation into the matter.

“Bukit Aman police contacted my office yesterday asking me to present myself at the police station at 6.30pm today to give a statement and help in the investigation,” he said.