Malaysia's gay sex video: In fresh comments, Anwar downplays war of words with Azmin

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat reminded him on Thursday that the party had stood by him when he was ousted as deputy premier in 1998 amid sodomy allegations.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat reminded him on Thursday that the party had stood by him when he was ousted as deputy premier in 1998 amid sodomy allegations.PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The president of Malaysia's largest ruling party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday (July 18) downplayed the war of words between him and his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Mr Anwar had suggested on Wednesday that Mr Azmin should resign from his post as Economic Affairs Minister if he was conclusively identified as one of the two men in a gay sex video. On Monday, he had said that the public needed to know if the video clips were genuine.  His comments prompted a response from Mr Azmin who said that Mr Anwar should "look at the man in the mirror" and reflect on his own actions.

Appearing cheerful at a press conference in Parliament on Thursday, Mr Anwar said Mr Azmin probably did not fully comprehend his remarks as reported by the media.

"Azmin (probably) said that without reading the full statement (that I made).

"He is undergoing a very difficult period, and I will certainly not respond to a spontaneous outburst.

"So I don't feel upset (over Azmin's outburst), but I thought he should have read the full text," Mr Anwar told the media.

On Thursday, tensions intensified within the party when 23 out of 64 PKR central leadership members released a statement condemning Mr Anwar for not supporting Mr Azmin over allegations of gay sex which he has denied.

They also reminded Mr Anwar that the party had stood by him when he was ousted as deputy premier in 1998 amid sodomy allegations.

 
 
 

When asked about the statement, Mr Anwar said some of those who signed had misunderstood his statement.

However, he also acknowledged that these were good intentions to unite the party.

"I accept their explanation that perhaps I should have just said that we should leave the matter to the police," added Mr Anwar.

Also present during the press conference were at least 10 PKR lawmakers.