SHAH ALAM: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has dismissed the lewd videos implicating Economics Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali in a bedroom romp with another man.“This is done by people who have political agendas,” said the Prime Minister after attending a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia fund-raising event at Setia City Convention Centre last night.
He said people could produce any kind of pictures they wanted if they were clever enough to do it.
“Things like these are dirty. If you cannot compete with someone, don’t do something like this,” he said.
He said Azmin had attended the weekly Cabinet meeting as usual yesterday.
Dr Mahathir also questioned the motive of the man who admitted to being the other person in the video.
Earlier, many party leaders have described the matter as gutter politics.
They want action to be taken against Muhammad Haziq Abdul Aziz – an aide to Deputy Primary Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin – who implicated Azmin.
Later yesterday, Azmin issued a strongly worded statement denying he was in that video.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mazlan Mansor told Bernama that police would be conducting an investigation into the case, adding that a report was lodged on Tuesday.
“We are investigating the authenticity of the video clip,” he said.
PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin expressed her undivided support for the minister implicated in the video and vouched for his credibility, integrity and leadership.
She said the alleged sex video was dirty politics aimed at assassinating the minister’s character.
Zuraida also took a swipe at Haziq’s credibility, saying that he must be brought to justice.
“I am basing my confidence on the questionable background of the accuser and (who) is known to have good relations with the opposition,” said Zuraida in a statement yesterday that did not name the minister.
PKR Wanita deputy secretary Sharifah Hazlina Syed Musa Jamalullail said Haziq should quit his post and that a woman should take his place.
“My fear is that if we indulge in this game of defamation once more, we will be lost in our cause of wanting to see reformation as this rings and reeks of the familiar scenario from 20 years ago,” she said in a reference to allegations against PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim back then.
Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, in a Facebook post yesterday, called on Malaysians to condemn the slander against the minister, noting that the “sordidness of gutter politics rears its ugly head again”.
“It has no other objective than to spell an end to the career, reputation and character of leaders utilising dirty and scurrilous personal attacks and fitnah (slander),” she wrote.
Nurul, who is Anwar’s daughter, said that gutter politics must never be a part of Malaysia’s political culture.
“We must all unite in condemning such vileness and disassociate ourselves from propagating such filth,” she added.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said as far as the party leadership was concerned and to his knowledge, no reports or complaints were made with the party regarding the matter, which went viral on social media.
The Lembah Pantai MP also advised party members to refer to the leadership and not share such unverified information or salacious videos.
Fahmi also said he was certain PKR would cooperate with the authorities if there were any investigations.
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the Sabah religious authorities should investigate Haziq’s confession.
“PAS urges the Sabah syariah court to investigate and punish the individual based on his confession,” he said on his Facebook posting yesterday.
This was echoed by PAS ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed, who said that Haziq should be investigated as he admitted to being involved in a crime.
Both PAS leaders reminded members to stay clear of the scandal by not spreading false accusations against fellow Muslims.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member Tariq Ismail said the use of such a despicable video should not be the means to destroy a political career.
PKR Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin said those behind the sex video “will rot in hell” as it was merely meant to smear a politician’s name.
“I personally know the minister supposedly involved, and I am confident he is a victim of malicious lies and slander,” he said when commenting on the issue during a press conference yesterday.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, in a Facebook post, told members and party supporters not to get involved with the issue or take advantage of it by making it worse.
Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin too urged Malaysians to “look away” when they come across sordid news involving politicians.
He said such “vile filth” thrived when it was given attention.
“Politics is a tough profession. Some days it’s dirty. Some days it’s downright filthy.
“Today it stinks to the high heaven,” Khairy said in an Instagram post.
Haziq confessed in a video recording to being the man in the sex video.
In the 30-second clip posted on Facebook at 2.30am yesterday, Haziq named the minister who was allegedly the other man in the video.
He said the recording of the alleged sex act was done without his consent on May 11 at the Four Points Hotel during the recent Sandakan parliamentary by-election.