Malaysia gay sex video: Azmin Ali says he knew accuser only from afar

Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali has strongly denied he was one of two men engaged in a sex act in a video.
Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali has strongly denied he was one of two men engaged in a sex act in a video.PHOTO: CHINA PRESS

SHAH ALAM - Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali once again denied allegations that he had a homosexual affair with a government official, attacking Mr Haziq Aziz's credibility while saying he hardly knew his accuser.

"I know him from afar. He is a party member," he told reporters after a Hari Raya event hosted by the Selangor Economic Development Corporation, his first comments in person on the matter. "He was a party member, then he joined the opposition (Barisan Nasional). Then after we won, he jumped back into Keadilan. This is the character of an individual that has been manipulated in this slander."

Datuk Seri Azmin had issued a statement denying his involvement on Wednesday evening, after Mr Haziq, the principal private secretary to the Deputy Primary Industries Minister, made a confession on Facebook early that morning that the duo were the two men in the videos that have circulated widely since being leaked in the early hours of Tuesday.

Mr Haziq then posted a follow-up on Facebook on Thursday morning that Mr Azmin had tried to cover up their three-year relationship. Mr Haziq has since been suspended from his government duties.

On Thursday, the Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president called on colleagues, especially "the party leadership", to heed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's advice to reject gutter politics.

Mr Azmin also echoed the implied claims of internal sabotage within PKR, whose president and founder Anwar Ibrahim is set to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir as premier before the next election.

"As mentioned by the Prime Minister, if there is a difference of opinion, if there is someone that has failed to give the public acceptable service, don't resort to dirty tactics. The advice by the Prime Minister is serious and should be heeded by all, especially the party leadership. I call our friends to take the Prime Minister's message seriously. Ultimately we are accountable to Allah and the Malaysian public," he said.

 
 
 

However, when asked about speculation this was sabotage because Dr Mahathir has yet to set a firm date to step down, or if he suspected a culprit, he replied: "I'm not here to make any speculation on that. I do not want to make any accusations."

The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition had agreed that Dr Mahathir would lead the alliance into last year's election while Datuk Seri Anwar was still in jail over a controversial sodomy charge. Dr Mahathir was then to hand over power to his former nemesis.

But the duo have disagreed over timelines, with Mr Anwar indicating a two-year span while Dr Mahathir has said he will stay on to fix problems inherited from the previous regime, stepping down before the next election is due.