Malaysia's Anwar dismisses rumours about Azmin leaving PKR

Malaysia's Anwar dismisses rumours about Azmin leaving PKR

Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali collage
Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali. (Photos: Bernama, Reuters) 

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim has dismissed speculation that his deputy Azmin Ali is planning to quit the party.

"I did not hear anything about this," said Anwar on Friday (Jul 26). "I only heard about it from the media, but as said before, it’s not true."

Pressed further on the matter, the prime minister-in-waiting reiterated that he and Azmin are still working as a team. 

"We already said no (argument). Why do you want me to argue with him every day?” he was quoted as saying by the Star. 

READ: Amid PKR rift, Azmin faction could form new party or join Bersatu: Analysts

READ: Malaysian PM Mahathir calls for party unity as sex tape scandal deepens rifts

Rumours of Azmin leaving PKR emerged after a news portal reported that he was planning to join Gerakan, a party which quit the Barisan Nasional after the last general election. 

There have been reports of tensions between Anwar and Azmin, after the release of sex videos which purportedly show the latter with another man.

Azmin, who is Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister, has vehemently denied the allegation, calling it a nefarious plot by his opponents to assassinate his reputation and destroy his political career.

The videos have led to finger-pointing within PKR, the largest component party of Malaysia's ruling Pakatan Harapn coalition, and raised concerns of a turbulent transition from current prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. 

Azmin has not commented on speculation that he is leaving PKR. 

Meanwhile, Gerakan president Dominic Lau Hoe Chai said any Pakatan Harapan member is welcome to join Gerakan as it is a multi-racial party.

“We are always open, welcome anybody, as long as they agree with our ideology,” he said at a news conference on Friday. 

READ: PKR has most to lose if PM Mahathir's Bersatu takes in more defectors: Analysts

PKR vice president Zuraida Kamaruddin said it would not be easy to oust Azmin from the party as he was elected by party members.

"He is deputy president, elected by party members. Not that easy even if there is a plot against him,” she said, when asked to comment on rumours that certain quarters were trying to oust Azmin.

Source: Bernama/CNA/ad(gs)

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