KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today sought to downplay the exchange between him and his deputy, saying Mohamed Azmin Ali is going through a difficult time.
“What Azmin said yesterday, I give him deference,” he told reporters in Parliament.
“He is going through a very difficult period. I think I would certainly not respond to some of his spontaneous outbursts.”
He said he was not upset over Azmin’s remarks, but that the economic affairs minister should have spoken in context as he had only suggested that Azmin resign if police investigations identify him as one of the men in several gay sex video clips which have gone viral.
He added that the media should not exploit Azmin’s remarks.
“I don’t think it’s fair to him either, in his position. He probably did not read the full text. You guys (reporters) just prompted him with the question.
“I don’t feel like you guys should exploit his remarks.”
Yesterday, Anwar told Azmin that he should resign from his Cabinet position if he is proven to be one of the men in the videos.
Azmin subsequently shot back, telling Anwar to “look at the man in the mirror”.
Earlier today, a group of PKR central committee members criticised Anwar for his remarks, saying he should focus on preserving party unity.
Anwar said he welcomed their suggestions and took their statement positively.
“Their recommendations, which I welcome, were so that there would be no more tension in the party about the issue which involves Azmin,” he said.
So far, nine people have been arrested for suspicion of distributing the clips, including former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Aziz who openly admitted that he was one of two men shown in the videos.
Haziq named Azmin as the other man, a claim rejected by the minister who pointed fingers at a conspiracy to end his political career.
Among those arrested was Perak PKR chief Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, seen as aligned with the “Anwar camp” in PKR.