KLANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has denied that he is the voice behind several short audio clips lashing out at Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali.
"I don't use crude language. I'm fierce, but barua (lackey) is not my language. Don't be cheated by slander," he told reporters on Thursday (Aug 2) after a rally held for the Sungai Kandis by-election.
Asked if Umno could be behind the clips, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader said he did not know, dismissing it as an act of sabotage ahead of the PKR polls.
"I don't know. Certainly it's part of the impending party election. This is very unhealthy; they should fight in the open," added Mr Anwar, who will contest the president's post.
He said he had not given any reaction to the announcement by the Prime Minister's Office of the newly-elected Khazanah Nasional board, as he was undergoing surgery in Turkey.
Asked if the audio clips could be a ploy to cause a split in PKR, Anwar said party members "are not gullible".
Earlier on Thursday, three audio clips, each lasting less than 10 seconds, were circulated through WhatsApp.
The recordings featured the voice of a man, similar to Mr Anwar's, denouncing Mr Azmin as a barua to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The recordings also criticised Tun Dr Mahathir's decision to appoint himself as Khazanah chairman and also dredged up the 1990s Bank Negara forex scandal.
In another clip, the man is heard saying that he told PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli to take on Mr Azmin for the post of PKR deputy president as the latter was a stooge of Dr Mahathir.
Mr Anwar's wife, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, also denied that the voice was Mr Anwar's.
The same denial was also issued by Mr Azmin.
Lembah Pantai MP and PKR communications chief Fahmi Fadzil said there were differences in the way the man spoke compared to Mr Anwar.
"This is intended to create a rift among party members. We are dealing with many things as we approach the party polls," he said in a statement.