PETALING JAYA: Senior minister Azmin Ali, responding to online sarcasm about his encounter with Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Putra Mosque on Friday, said today he was just trying to say hello and wish him Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.
Azmin said his action should not be politicised.
Speaking at an Aidiladha function in Kedah today, he said: “Maybe we have different views but when in the mosque during Aidiladha, of course, as a person who is much younger than Dr Mahathir, I have the responsibility to meet with him to wish Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha and say hello.”
On Friday, hundreds of comments were made to Azmin’s posting of a photograph showing him with Mahathir at the mosque, with the caption “Together with children and son-in-law performing Eidul Adha prayers at Masjid Putra. Had the chance to meet and wish YB Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad Selamat Hari Raya.”
In response, one Facebook user, Muzs M Noh, said: “Purposely meeting Tun… Since you know the party is about to collapse… You really have no shame…”
Another user, Khairi Rashid, said: “Looking for a limb to hold on to.”
Other commenters also posted speculative remarks about Mahathir’s clenched fist and stoic demeanour as shown in the photograph.
Azmin was a key figure in the “Sheraton Move” in late February, which led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration headed by Mahathir.
Azmin was viewed as a favoured minister under Mahathir but switched support to PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin who formed a new government with the Perikatan Nasional coalition.