Azmin and leaders aligned to him missing at PKR retreat

Anwar Ibrahim welcomes Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a PKR meeting in Port Dickson tonight.

PORT DICKSON: PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and several top leaders aligned to him were absent from a special party meeting here tonight, which Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad attended alongside PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

Among the senior leaders missing tonight were vice-presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua and Ali Biju, who yesterday signed a statement critical of Anwar for his call urging Azmin to give up his Cabinet post if it is true he was the person in viral sex clips.

Mahathir was greeted by Anwar and his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, accompanied by information chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin and vice-president Xavier Jayakumar.

In a short speech, Anwar praised Mahathir for his “passion for the country”, saying it was the first time he and the prime minister were sharing the stage at a PKR event.

“Imagine, Dr Mahathir is here to advise PKR,” said Anwar in his speech welcoming Mahathir.

Tonight’s gathering comes on the back of the open feud between Anwar and Azmin, after the former’s call that the economic affairs minister should quit his Cabinet post if it was proven that several gay sex videos implicating him were genuine.

Azmin’s supporters have defended him, while Anwar’s camp today announced the formation of the council of state chiefs to back their president.