‘I’m not defending Azmin’, says Malaysian PM Mahathir over viral sex video scandal

‘I’m not defending Azmin’, says Malaysian PM Mahathir over viral sex video scandal

Mahathir Mohamad generic
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (File photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (Jul 23) dismissed suggestions that he was defending Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali over a viral sex video scandal.

Speaking to reporters after launching a national financial literary strategy, Dr Mahathir stated that he did not want to get caught up in what he described as "dirty" politics.

“I’m not defending him (Mohamed Azmin). I’m just saying that dirty kinds of politics like that will not trap me into being part of it,” he stated.

“Obviously, somebody is trying to make use of me to achieve their purpose. This is not a usual video that you see before; this is purposely created in order to achieve certain nasty objectives to prevent somebody from making progress in politics.”

He added: “This was planned and I’m not going to be an agent for making the plan a success.”

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

Asked whether the masterminds behind the circulation of the video should be brought to court, Dr Mahathir said they should be punished.

“If we can find and identify who actually produced this particular video and showed them on the Net, I think they should be punished. This is not the kind of politics we want.”

Mr Azmin has been under pressure after a sex video purportedly showing him in bed with another man was circulated last month.

Last week, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim reportedly said that Mr Azmin should  resign if he is indeed identified as the man in the video.

READ: Sex video authentic, but identities of men undetermined, says Malaysia police chief

Mr Azmin, who is PKR's deputy president, was conspicuously absent at the party retreat held in Mr Anwar’s constituency of Port Dickson over the weekend.

In what may be an attempt to paper over the cracks, the retreat concluded with a resolution to fully support Mr Anwar as the party president. Mr Anwar was seen extending an olive branch to Mr Azmin by stating that he would work together with him “as a team”.

Azmin Ali
Former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali at a prayer session. (File Photo: Bernama) 

On Mr Azmin’s part, he said at a separate function that they have been together for decades and promised to work together with Mr Anwar. Nonetheless, Mr Azmin warned that his loyalty has a limit. He also pledged loyalty to Dr Mahathir.

Observers have noted how Dr Mahathir’s support for Mr Azmin in the sex video saga when it first broke was very different from his treatment of Mr Anwar 20 years ago, when the latter was accused of being involved in sodomy.

Dr Mahathir had earlier said that he did not believe the video involving Mr Azmin was genuine, even before the police concluded their investigations.

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

“I WILL NOT BE MADE USE OF”

Posting on his blog earlier on Tuesday, the prime minister said he did not want to be manipulated.

He noted that the video was recorded and circulated for political reasons, specifically to block the political success of a certain individual.

“This is not a moral issue. It is a political problem. It will be handled as a political issue,” he wrote.

He said those behind the video hoped that he would sack the individual involved. “If I take that action, it means those who plotted this evil move have succeeded. I will not be made use of, more so by those with evil intention and who employ dirty politics.”

Dr Mahathir added that Islam prohibits intentional spying for the purpose of exposing a person. What has happened is worse than spying, he said.

Source: Bernama/CNA/aw(hm)

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