June 30, 2019.
Recollections & Reflections – A commentary by Aziz Hassan
A LOT of the noise has been coming from one side and understandably, little from the other, and if those participating at various social media platforms are sceptical, one cannot entirely blame them.
After the recent video confession by political aide Haziq Abdullah Aziz on what was said to be a tryst with Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and the follow-ups to this, not much has been heard from the official standpoint.
But on Saturday news outlets reported on the statement by national police chief Datuk Seri Hamid Bador on the current status of investigations into Haziq’s claims.
“The investigation to ascertain the authenticity of the viral sex video implicating a minister is still ongoing, in accordance with guidelines set by the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” says Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador (Bernama)
For now any hopes of the Haziq confession going much further and creating more damage to Azmin seems rather remote, unless the cops can come out with something definite, similar to the opinions of experts from Australia quoted days ago by the press. Those blokes certainly didn’t need as much time as our investigators to come to a conclusion, which was to confirm the authenticity of the video but without being affirmative on the identities of the two men involved.
It is the time being taken by Malaysian investigators that gives rise to the doubts and scepticisms on social media.
What is rather odd is Hamid’s reference to “guidelines by the AGC” because in any case, the standard operating procedure is that in the first instance it’s the police that initiates an investigation, free from undue influence from outside. From there the investigation papers go to the AGC, if the cops think that there indeed is a case to be further pursued. The AGC may agree to proceed with prosecution or requests the cops to probe further, to gather more evidence,
This is how the system works.
Hamid’s statement was followed the next day by an open letter published by Haziq at his Face book page. It was reported thus:
“In an open letter on his social media page, Haziq Abdullah urged Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to be fair in his treatment of the sex video scandal implicating a Cabinet minister.
“Haziq started by saying that he had been a made a “black sheep” over the scandal.”
In a way Haziq’s lament is similar to the frustration and regret expressed by Mohd. Saiful Bahari in December 2017 after Mahathir had apparently expressed support to calls for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be released from prison although the court had found Anwar guilty in the sodomy case involving Saiful. (The King last year granted Anwar a full pardon over the two sodomy cases linked to him.)
In the current issue, Mahathir has been quick to pooh-pooh Haziq’s claim, even going to the extent of saying with conviction that the video in question was fake.
How Mahathir looks at these cases is blatantly inconsistent.
In the first about Anwar in 1998, Mahathir didn’t waste any time in moving against Anwar, getting the Umno supreme council to call an emergency meeting which voted for Anwar’s removal from the party. Mahathir also used his prerogative as PM to sack Anwar from the Cabinet. These decisions gave birth to the local reformasi (reformation) movement, with thousands of young Malaysians especially pouring into the streets to demonstrate in support of Anwar.
In Haziq’s case, the signs are not to encouraging that he will get the treatment he expects and is entitled to as a citizen, if indeed what he claimed did happen.
On the other hand Haziq may end up as a “victim”, if the Islamic affairs prosecutors decide to come into the picture and use the country’s Islamic laws.
This latest juicy allegation involving sex and the politician reminds us of a social media television interview in which the man being interviewed, one who was a low-level Umno man who shifted to PKR and then back into the wilderness, rightly pointed out the irony which none of the highly qualified political analysts saw fit to mention.
According to this small time politician, the funny side was that despite being a majority Muslim country, no Malaysian politician has had to pay the price (politically) for a sexual indiscretion, unlike in the west.
It now looks like likely that Haziq may eventually be left to deal with his predicament alone, his claim making little headway, only because those in authority decide that there is nothing more to pursue, which means the other side will not have to pay the price as spelt out under the aw.