Mahathir: I don't know anything about sex video purportedly involving a Malaysian minister

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was unaware of the video and photos spread on Whatsapp, where two men, one of whom resembles a Cabinet minister, appeared to be engaging in sexual acts.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was unaware of the video and photos spread on Whatsapp, where two men, one of whom resembles a Cabinet minister, appeared to be engaging in sexual acts. PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (June 11) denied knowledge of the spread of a sex video and several lewd photos purportedly involving a Cabinet minister, The Star reported.

The video and photos where two men - one of whom resembles a Cabinet minister - appeared to be engaging in sexual acts, began spreading via WhatsApp early on Monday morning (June 10).

"I do not know anything. I have just heard, I would have to read up on it," Tun Dr Mahathir said in response to a question by a reporter at a press conference after chairing the Economic Action Council meeting at his office in Putrajaya.

The Malaysiakini news website said the video and pictures were shared in a number of WhatsApp group chats with reporters and participants in the group chats that included several Sabah and Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders. The authenticity of the images could not be verified.

It said the name of one of the creators of the group chats was listed as "Saifuddin Abdullah" while another was identified as a "Tian Chua".

But PKR vice-president Tian Chua, who was attending a conference in Geneva, told Malaysiakini the WhatsApp group chat did not belong to him, while fellow PKR member, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, said he was not the person behind the WhatsApp group.

"The said person is masquerading around in the WhatsApp groups and we will let the authorities investigate this matter," Datuk Saifuddin told the website.

Meanwhile, Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam has lodged a police report over the images, The Star reported. While he did not name any names, he told the media that it was clear which politician one of the men in the video resembled.

"I want the police to investigate the authenticity of the videos, who has been spreading the videos and also the 'actors' involved," he said after arriving at the district police headquarters in Putrajaya, adding that their "acting was not very good".

Mr Lokman, who was at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters earlier, also called on the graft-busters to investigate an alleged suspicious transaction into the bank account of Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali. He said the alleged transaction of around RM3 million (S$983,000) occurred in December 2017, when Datuk Seri Azmin was still the Menteri Besar of Selangor.

"I make this report hoping that the new MACC chief will act without bias and will take action against any parties, including those from her (former) political party," he said, referring to Ms Latheefa Koya who resigned as a member of PKR after being appointed head of the  anti-graft agency on June 1.

Mr Lokman said the office of Attorney-General Tommy Thomas should act on the allegations if they are true. "It's up to him to take action or not. If he doesn't, then well, we know he doesn't have that long left as the A-G, so we hope the new one will take action then," he said.

Mr Lokman also alleged that Dr Mahathir was seeking to make Umno an illegal party while poaching members of the opposition party to his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in a bid to make his party the dominant political party in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition.

"I was told that our 'atuk' (an apparent reference to the Prime Minister) is becoming more desperate and that he plans to make Umno an illegal party. But he will approach Members of Parliament from Umno to join his party," he said.

"This is for them to be the dominant party in Pakatan Harapan. I call my fellow friends in Umno to think this through and thank those that have been approached by Tun but rejected his offer," he said.