PUTRAJAYA: Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz (pic) has been suspended from his duties as private secretary to Deputy Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin with immediate effect.
At a press conference here, Shamsul Iskandar also said the ministry had demanded that Haziq respond to a show-cause letter issued to him on June 12 within three days or face dismissal.
"The ministry will not hesitate to terminate his (Haziq's) contract with immediate effect if we do not hear from within the deadline," Shamsul Iskandar said.
Haziq had publicly confessed that he and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali were the two men in a gay sex video that had been widely spread on social media.
Shamsul Iskandar said he had not heard from Haziq since Tuesday (June 11), when he contacted the latter over a work-related matter.
"I had an assignment in Myanmar and only returned Wednesday (June 12).
"After I learnt about the incident, I sent him a message on WhatsApp and requested to meet him at the office. Unfortunately, there has been no reply from him," said Shamsul Iskandar.
He said Haziq has not shown up at work since the confession video was published and is considered AWOL (absent without leave).
"The ministry had tried to reach the family, but the family said they too had received no communications from Haziq," said Shamsul Iskandar.
On Haziq's personality, Shamsul Iskandar said there was no indication that his private secretary would come out to commit such things.
"I am baffled that he would do this. All the time when he served me, his conduct had been professional.
"We went to Saudi Arabia on a work trip together. Nothing jumped out.
"I have spoken to the ministry's secretary-general and other staff members and they too had no complaints about Haziq," said Shamsul Iskandar.
The deputy minister said he personally screened several job applications for the post of private secretary and picked Haziq.
"I knew him since he was a student activist around 2011. He was an important youth leader for PKR back then.
"I received many resumes from those applying for the post. I screened all of them, conducted interviews, and chose him," said Shamsul Iskandar.
When asked why Haziq was chosen despite having served former Barisan Nasional minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Shamsul Iskandar said he saw no issue.
"He served the minister under the Perdana Fellowship programme. The programme is for youths to gain experience. I do not see any issue there," he said.