Politics

PKR turmoil worsen as pressure piles on Anwar

Hari-Anggara-Anwar-Azmin

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR — July 18, 2019: Supporters of Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali yesterday posted a superimposed image of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a mirror on their official Facebook wall immediately after the former uttered a curt reply to the PKR president.

It was an obvious act of defiance against Anwar in the ongoing tit-for-tat drama over Azmin’s alleged involvement in a gay sex video controversy.

This afternoon, the administrators of the page posted another gibe at Anwar – a video of a baboon that was startled over its own reflection in a mirror. The caption of the post was “one’s reaction when one looks into a mirror.”

The duo’s tangle yesterday started after Anwar said his party deputy Azmin should go on leave if the gay sex video was proven to be authentic. Azmin retorted that Anwar, who was previously subjected to similar gossips should take “a good look in the mirror”.

Statements by the duo came just hours after Anwar’s political secretary, Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak was arrested and remanded for four days over the gay sex video probe.

The controversy became national gossip early last month when former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdul Aziz admitted that he was one of the two men in a video while naming Azmin as the other.

Meanwhile, at a talk show on RTM1 last night, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed that the gay sex video was authentic but investigators were not able to confirm the identity of the individuals featured in it.

Talk of friction within PKR, particularly involving supporters of  Anwar and Azmin has been heard even before the gay sex video controversy was shoved into the limelight.

Anwar has consistently denied that PKR was in a crisis but earlier today, a total of 27 party leaders, led by four vice-presidents, Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua, Ali Biju and Xavier Jayakumar, made a joint-statement calling for their party president to stop issuing divisive statements and start mending the fractures within the party. 

“In 2011, the then Inspector General of Police had announced that the sex video implicating him (Anwar) was authentic but Azmin had consistently defended him and and his family for more than 20 years from that kind of gutter politics.

“Azmin had denied his involvement in the video. As the president of the party, he (Anwar) should defend his deputy to preserve party unity and must not try to jeopardise the deputy president without concrete proof,” read the statement.

Several party branches have also echoed a similar call as those who signed the joint-statement but Anwar had today, downplayed the tension between him and Azmin, claiming that the latter have misunderstood his statement.

“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,” said Anwar at the parliament lobby.

Political analyst, Dr Azmi Hassan, believed that the feud between Anwar and Azmin is likely going to get worse and may even force Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad to change his succession plan .

“The feud between the two has been going on for quite some time but only via proxies of each camp. Yesterday’s tit-for-tat was the first time the feud was taken openly and the message is quite explicit.

“Dr Mahathir has remarked that the squabble should be solved by the involved parties. If Azmin and Anwar fail to do so, then it will not be Dr Mahathir’s fault if he makes a decision, regarding his successor, which both camps will not like,” said Azmi.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]