Azmin ‘not so stupid’ as to get mixed up in sex scandal, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur. With him are (from left) Mohamed Azmin Ali, Petronas chairman Ahmad Nizam Salleh and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today continued to defend Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali from allegations of involvement in a sex scandal, saying the PKR deputy president would not have been stupid enough to get mixed up in such an affair and to get caught doing so on camera.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Asia Oil and Gas Conference at the KL Convention Centre here, the prime minister said it was a deliberate attempt to affect Azmin’s political career.

“I don’t think he is so stupid as to do that and get caught in a picture like that,” he said.

“I think somebody is out to bring him down, and nowadays with all kinds of miracles in electronics, you can show a lot of pictures which may or may not be true.”

He was responding to a recent blog post by his media adviser A Kadir Jasin implying that ministers who get embroiled in scandals should resign.

Kadir also cited episodes in India, Canada and Britain where leaders implicated in sexual scandals had stepped down.

“No, there is no necessity simply because in other countries people do something,” Mahathir said.

“I know in one country, if a plane crashes in an airfield, the transport minister resigns or throws himself off a building, but that is not our way.”

Over the past weeks, video clips of two men engaging in homosexual acts have gone viral followed by a confession by Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Aziz that he was one of the two.

He claimed the other person was Azmin, an allegation which the minister has strongly denied.

Nonetheless, the clips sparked calls for Azmin to resign or to go on leave over the scandal.