Dr M rejects calls for Azmin to go on leave

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad with his deputy Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at a Hari Raya gathering hosted by the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya today. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today rejected calls for Mohamed Azmin Ali to take leave pending a probe into several gay sex clips targeted at the economic affairs minister.

“Why? They can continue investigating as he won’t be an obstruction,” he told reporters at a Hari Raya gathering hosted by the Prime Minister’s Department here.

Last week, Haziq Aziz, an aide to Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, claimed he and Azmin were the two individuals in the clips which have since gone viral.

Azmin has strongly denied the claim, calling it a plot from within his party to kill his political career.

Haziq, who has since been sacked from his job, is currently being investigated for various offences, including carnal intercourse against the order of nature and distributing obscene material.

When it was pointed out that Pakatan Harapan politicians would demand Barisan Nasional politicians to take leave or step down when they are implicated in any scandal, Mahathir said Azmin’s case was different from politicians suspected to be involved in crimes.

“This is a political thing. In fact, it is intended to embarrass him and ask him to take leave.”

Mahathir had previously told reporters that the video clips were fake and that Haziq had a political agenda.

Meanwhile, on a proposal by a PPBM assemblyman for Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to step down and make way for Anwar Ibrahim, who is poised to succeed Mahathir, the PPBM chairman said anyone had the right to give any proposal.

“They can make a proposal. Whether I accept is a different matter.”

Jeram assemblyman Mohd Shaid Rosli had said it was necessary for Anwar to become the deputy prime minister as the PKR president is to take over the reins from Mahathir under an agreement by the ruling coalition.

Wan Azizah has also dismissed such calls.