Gay sex episode puts spotlight on PH’s collective morality, says Kadir Jasin

PETALING JAYA: Citing examples of political leaders in other countries quitting after being implicated in sex scandals, one of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s loyalists in PPBM today hinted that Pakatan Harapan politicians caught in similar situations should also give up their positions.

A Kadir Jasin, the former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Press (NSTP), referring to “the Sandakan video” without naming Mohamed Azmin Ali, said the controversy was not only a chance for the police to conduct investigations professionally but it was also a test of PH leaders’ collective “humanity, humility, morality and dignity”.

“The question that every PH leader must ask is, do I use my party and my government position to shield me from my wrongdoing or I shield my party and my government from shame by doing the right thing?” Kadir wrote on his personal blog.

PKR Santubong Youth chief Haziq Aziz recently shocked the nation when he admitted that he was one of two men filmed engaging in homosexual acts at a hotel in Sandakan, Sabah, last month.

Haziq, who was sacked as the private secretary of Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin following his confession posted on Facebook, also named Azmin as the other person in the video.

The economics affairs minister has strongly denied the claim, calling it a plot to destroy his career.

Mahathir has stood behind Azmin and dismissed calls for him to step down pending a police investigation into the video.

Kadir today named similar episodes in India, Canada and Britain where leaders implicated in sexual scandals had stepped down.

Among them were British minister Andrew Griffiths and Canadian state minister Jim Wilson.

Kadir also cited the Profumo affair of 1961, in which then British secretary of state for war, John Profumo admitted to having an affair with a 19-year-old model, Christine Keeler. Profumo was later sacked and jailed.

“He was jailed not because he slept with Keeler but because in doing so he jeopardised the security of the UK because she was a girlfriend to a UK-based Soviet spy,” Kadir wrote.

Kadir meanwhile said he had chosen to remain silent over the Azmin-Haziq issue, and recalled how his reputation as a journalist had been “badly burnt” for taking a position during a similar controversy when he headed the NSTP.

He was referring to allegations of sexual misconduct against Anwar Ibrahim in the late nineties, which led to the dismissal of the then deputy prime minister in 1998.

“My reputation as a journalist and editor was put into question and the newspapers I edited suffered,” he wrote.