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No need for Malaysian minister Azmin Ali to take leave over sex video probe: PM Mahathir

No need for Malaysian minister Azmin Ali to take leave over sex video probe: PM Mahathir

Malaysia's Minister of Economic Affairs Azmin Ali gives a news conference at Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Sep 5, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday (Jun 20) that Mr Azmin Ali does not have to go on leave to facilitate the investigation into a viral sex video implicating the Economic Affairs Minister.

A minister should only take leave if the investigation is related to wrongdoing or crime, Dr Mahathir stated, adding that the case related to Mr Azmin is politically motivated.

"In fact, it is intended to embarrass him and to ask him to take leave. I don't like this political evidence," he said.

Dr Mahathir said the investigation into the video could continue and Mr Azmin, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) deputy president, would not cause any obstruction.

READ: Sex videos a weapon of choice in Malaysian politics that distract from other issues

This came after three waves of videos showing two men - one of whom resembles a Cabinet minister - engaging in sexual acts were circulated via social media.

Mr Haziq Aziz, a PKR member, has confessed to being the man in the video and named Mr Azmin as the other party.

The minister has vehemently denied the allegation, calling it a nefarious plot to assassinate his reputation and character in an attempt to destroy his political career.

Police said on Wednesday it is still trying to determine the authenticity of the sex video. Mr Azmin gave his statement to the police on Monday pertaining to the video allegedly linked to him.

There have been suggestions that supporters of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim were responsible for the video in a bid to topple Mr Azmin, but Mr Anwar has refuted the allegations.

READ: 'Let the police do their job, don’t speculate', says Anwar on sex video probe

Meanwhile, Mr Haziq, who was principal private secretary to the deputy primary industries minister, has been sacked from his post, a ministry statement said on Thursday.

Screengrab of a video posted by Haziq Aziz on his Facebook account.

The ministry, which described Mr Haziq's implication of a minister in the sex video as "sordid", said it took his allegations as a "very serious violation of its values, ethics and the Code of Conduct, Public Officers Regulations".

"In the circumstance, the Ministry proceeded to terminate his contract of service effective June 18, 2019," said the statement.

“The Ministry wishes to categorically assert that it will never tolerate any such scandalous behaviour among any of its staff members which brings the Ministry into disrepute and odium. With this, the Ministry completely disassociates itself with Mr Haziq Aziz.”


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