Source: Abdul Razak Latif/Kosmo!

Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali slams allegations of his involvement in sex video scandal; politicians and netizens reject “gutter politics”

Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali has vehemently denied the allegations surrounding his purported involvement in a sex video scandal, dismissing it as “a nefarious plot” to “assassinate” his “reputation and character” in a bid to damage his “political career”.

In an official statement on Wed (12 Jun), he added that “this is clearly the latest in a series of concerted attempts over the past few months to vilify me, which includes intimidation against the safety of my family and me in the final week of Ramadan, and vile and baseless accusations of corruption” based on “recent political developments”.

“I utterly condemn this brand of gutter politics. It has no place in this era of New Malaysia, where we are working to rebuild the nation through institutional reforms,” said Azmin.

 

The Economic Affairs Minister also said that he has instructed his lawyers “to take the appropriate legal action against the individual who made these abominable allegations as well as against other perpetrators”.

“I will avail myself of all legal means at my disposal to expose these culprits,” he stressed, adding that he “will not submit to these cowardly acts and heinous attempts to distract the public from the pressing concerns of the nation and the successes of the Economic Affairs Ministry in the planning and implementation of national development policies that are sustainable and inclusive”.

“I trust the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will take all necessary action with regards to this matter,” concluded Azmin.

Azmin’s statement came shortly after 27-year-old Muhammad Haziq Abdul Aziz released a video alleging that he was involved in a sex video with the Economic Affairs Minister.

“I, Haziq Aziz, (am) making a sworn confession that I am the individual with (the minister) in the video which went viral yesterday.

“The video was taken without my permission on May 11 during the Sandakan by-election in (his) room at Hotel Four Points,” Haziq is seen as saying in the confessional video, which was posted on his Facebook page on Wed morning (12 Jun).

He also alleged that Azmin is “not an individual who is qualified to be a leader”, adding that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should “investigate (him) for corruption”.

A close friend of Haziq had revealed screenshots of his WhatsApp conversation with Haziq, in which the latter reportedly said that he is “just a victim of the situation.”

Haziq, who is currently the private secretary to the Deputy Primary Industries and Commodities Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, had initially denied his involvement in the videos, as reported by The Star Online.

Politics “about finding ways to forward the interest of our nation collectively, not about sex, sex, sex, and more sex”: Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman

Malay Mail reported Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman as saying on the same day that such scandals involving sex videos are the reason why “some youth are saying that politics is despicable and choose to stay far, far away from it”.

The Pakatan Harapan Youth Chief told reporters at a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) dinner event in Shah Alam yesterday that “especially for young people, politics should be about the battle of ideals, ideas, and principles”.

“It is about finding ways to forward the interest of our nation collectively, not about sex, sex, sex, and more sex.

“I believe when I speak this also stands in the aspiration of a lot of young people as well,” said the Member of Parliament for Muar.

He also confirmed that he was added into a WhatsApp group called “Jemputan Raya Azmin Ali” (“Azmin Ali’s Raya Invitation”) in which videos and images of sex allegedly involving Azmin were posted, and said that the parties who had disseminated the material could not have “hit any lower than that.”

“I was looking through it they got phone numbers of almost all the ministers, politicians, political secretaries… I have no idea how even I don’t have their numbers.

“Evidently the individual or the group behind this cannot hit any lower than that but as I mentioned, I think politics in Malaysia should aspire for something much better,” he said, adding: “I really thought it was a Raya invitation”.

Syed Saddiq also took to Twitter to express his disappointment regarding the “gutter politics” that are still permeating the Malaysian political landscape in the wake of the scandal allegedly involving Azmin:

No proof to suggest internal sabotage behind sex scandal: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim

Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim, who was himself implicated in a similar scandal some 11 years ago, said that there is no evidence to support the theory that the scandal involving the party’s deputy president was orchestrated by a member of the party, Malay Mail reported on Wed.

Speaking at an emergency PKR meeting yesterday, Anwar told reporters: “We have no issue with the party … The only thing we considered most is this attack which we condemn.

“Notwithstanding wherever or whatever the source is … We have no evidence to suggest the party is the enemy,” he added.

“From the start, we (PKR) and Pakatan Harapan had said we will push against all these disgusting politics and it doesn’t matter who the victim is.

“We spoke about how to handle this issue and what statements to make based on the rules and regulations … As for now, that’s all we can say about it and we can’t say anymore as we do not want to disturb the investigations which are now being conducted by the police and MACC,” Anwar told reporters.

The Star Online reported him as saying on Thu (13 Jun) that “PKR reiterates its commitment in rejecting the disgusting gutter politics that we now witness”.

“This country needs to focus on economic and social issues and not be dragged into this dishonourable arena.

“PKR hopes Azmin and family will be strong in facing this monumental test,” said Anwar.

Malaysian netizens unsurprised by scandal allegedly involving Economic Affairs Minister

Syed Saddiq and Anwar’s sentiments appear to be shared by many Malaysian netizens in general, who mostly opined that using sex scandals featuring prominent male politicians with other men as a tactic to pull down political enemies or competitors is a tired and overused one:

One netizen in particular, however, opined that such a scandal ought to be factored into judging whether a politician is credible:

Several netizens specifically questioned Haziq’s motive behind releasing the confessional video, given his political history and his eagerness to publicly admit his involvement in the scandal: