‘Everything points to an inside job’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 15 Jun 2019

PETALING JAYA: All elementary facts show that the sex video saga involving a man allegedly resembling Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is an inside job from within the party itself to character-assassinate him, say analysts.Umno leaders, on the other hand, said they had nothing to gain and everything to lose if they had

the tenacity to concoct a dirty political campaign against a top-ranking federal minister at this point in time, when Umno is at its lowest morale.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said it was quite common for political contestants to use incivility tools and vilification to character-assassinate individuals from within the same party.

He pointed out that the release of the recent sex videos was likely an inside job as the details on how it was done and the statements from various parties, as well as the alleged source of the videos, showed that it was an attack from within the party.

In the past week, clips of a sex video featuring two men have been circulating on social media, initially sent out to PKR leaders and selected media personnel through Whats­App groups.

The issue was heightened when PKR member Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz confessed in a video that it was indeed him with the federal minister in the videos.

Azmin had cried that it was a “nefarious plot” to kill off his political career, while Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the video was fake.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had also condemned it as “gutter politics”.

Sivamurugan said the fact that the video saga had details only PKR people would know was proof that it was all a plot by people in the party.

“Who would know the detailed schedule of the person (Azmin), including the room number? Also, look at the confession by Haziq as well as the statement from PKR leaders,” said Sivamurugan.

He said the statements given out by PKR leaders seemed to defend their own factions.

PKR vice-president Zuraida Kam­aruddin had said it was a plot to undermine the rise of Azmin’s political career.

Ibrahim Suffian of Merdeka Centre said the sex video saga was a team effort.

“It certainly doesn’t look like the handiwork of just one person as the production of the confession, the sex video and the purported financial documents point towards some form of team effort (albeit a cliched one with plot holes, as well as easily spotted fake documents).

“In situations like this, the perpetrators are those who would likely gain from killing Azmin’s political career.

“Azmin’s high stature in politics has made him the target of enmity from within his own party as well as those from the opposition.

“With no direct evidence available at present, it’s hard to pinpoint any quarter as being responsible for this despicable attempt at political character assassination,” said Ibrahim.

Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan of Pakatan said the sex videos were created to “merely destroy Azmin’s political career as he is now in top form”.

“God willing, I am confident that these groups will find a dead end. At the same time, Azmin has to be careful as these groups will continue to pile on the pressure as they have nothing to lose,” said Khai­ruddin, who was Pakatan’s candidate in the last general election.

Khairuddin also criticised Haziq for shamelessly coming forward and making an open confession, and accused him of being proud to do so in the name of character assassination.

“Here, it is already proven that this group has no dignity and such people can do anything to persecute others.

“At the same time I find it funny, seeing the hypocrites who have expressed their sympathy and disappointment towards this planned malicious agenda towards the minister,” said Khairuddin.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan said Umno would only lose its moral compass if it were to resort to such dirty tactics.

“We will never resort to such a political culture. This is Malaysia of the 21st century. We need to construct and advocate a mature, principled and inclusive political narrative, like what we have been doing all this while.

“This is not something new. It is not a matter of Umno today or Umno tomorrow.

“Umno must be a party driven by values and character. It is not just about power and influence. It’s about being moral and righteous,” Mohamad said.

“We are committed to constructing and charting a more vibrant and progressive politics in Malaysia and oppose any form of ‘gutter politics’, especially after the last general election.

“We take the politics of principles, integrity and moral very seriously or else Umno will lose its moral compass and fail to lead the Malay Muslim society to be a more educated, Islamic and progressive segment of modern Malaysia,” said Mohamad.

He added that making sex videos to slander a top minister would only negate all efforts the party had put in to rise again after its blistering defeat in the last general elections.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said Umno, as the opposition, did not have “the luxury of time and resources to waste in this sick and twisted political game among political animals”.

“The people are watching us. They want to see whether Umno has changed and returned to its reason of establishment, whether Umno is mature and wiser than before,” said Asyraf.

He was referring to the fact that Umno lost the last general election because it was perceived to have lost its moral standing.

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