SHAH ALAM: Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali on Thursday (Jun 13) said he is not close to the man who alleged he had participated in a sexual act with him, adding that his primary concerns are his portfolio and delivering results for the people.
His public appearance came a day after he issued a strongly worded statement to deny allegations that he was involved in a gay sex video, which went viral on Tuesday.
Mr Haziq Aziz – a principal private secretary to a deputy minister – had admitted in a Facebook video that he was the man in the sex video, and alleged that Mr Azmin was the other.
Speaking to reporters at a Hari Raya open house on Thursday, Mr Azmin said Mr Haziq was known to have switched allegiance from one party to another.
“I only know him from afar. He was a party member who had left to join the opposition (Barisan Nasional). After we won, he jumped back to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).”
“This is the character of the individual used in this slander,” said Mr Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president.
READ: Commentary - Sex videos a weapon of choice in Malaysian politics that distract from other issues
Many PKR leaders have thrown their support behind Mr Azmin in the scandal that had ignited a political firestorm, condemning it as gutter politics.
Weighing in on the issue, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the viral video was put up by somebody with a political agenda.
Mr Azmin concurred on Thursday, urging politicians to heed Dr Mahathir’s advice to stay away from dirty and repulsive tactics.
Refusing to speculate on the possible culprits behind the sex clips, Mr Azmin said he wanted to focus on fulfilling his duties as a minister.
“My main focus is to deliver and ensure that the economy continue to grow, and the level of confidence among investors is strong.
“I have been too busy. I am too occupied with my ministry,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, Mr Haziq made more allegations about Mr Azmin on his Facebook. He said he was forced by Mr Azmin’s political secretary Hilman Idham to deny it was the minister in the video.
While admitted to having met Mr Haziq, Mr Hilman declined to reveal more details when pressed when he was speaking to reporters in Putrajaya after lodging a police report over the viral sex video.
He also lodged a report at the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department for falsely accusing someone of unlawful sexual relationship.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Primary Industries Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin announced that Mr Haziq was suspended from his official duties with immediate effect.
He said Mr Haziq was told to reply to a show-cause letter issued to him by Friday, failing which he would be sacked.