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Malaysia’s political scene has been taken over by a leaked sex tape, purportedly showing a Cabinet minister and a Government worker, but Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is not shaken.
Instead, the 92-year-old believes the videos – which have implicated Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali – are fake, and the result of “dirty tactics” in politics, New Straits Times (NST) has reported.
The prime minister also believes he could be the next victim if gutter politics continues to prevail in the country.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday (June 12), Mahathir said that such videos could easily be staged with the use of existing and advanced technology, Malay Mail reported.
“Nowadays you can produce all kinds of pictures if you are clever enough. One day you may also see my picture like that. It would be very funny,” Malay Mail quoted him as saying.
The PM also questioned the agenda of Muhammad Haziq Aziz, the man who on Wednesday claimed to be the other person in the sex tapes, and alleged that the Economic Affairs Minister was corrupt.
“The boy who admitted, it was deliberate. If not, he would not have admitted. Normally, the person who does it will be embarrassed. But this person isn’t embarrassed and said: ‘I did that.’ What is his intention?” Mahathir was quoted by NST as saying.
When asked if videos were a sign that there was a power struggle brewing in the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Mahathir said he did not know who was behind the videos, and added that “such dirty political tactics” should not exist in Malaysia, NSTreported.
On the same day, Azmin released a statement denying all allegations, saying: “This is nothing but a nefarious plot to assassinate my reputation and character in an attempt to destroy my political career.”
Anwar calls it ‘disgusting gutter politics’
Joining in the fray was Deputy PKR Youth chief Hilman Idham, who said that he would be lodging two police reports against Haziq for implicating Azmin in his confession, The Star reported.
According to The Star, Hilman said he would also be lodging a qazaf (false accusation) report to clear Azmin’s name.
Meanwhile, PKR’s president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim – who was charged with sodomy cases in the past – also described the saga as a “scurrilous attack” on Azmin.
“PKR reiterates its commitment in rejecting the disgusting gutter politics that we now witness. This country needs to focus on economic and social issues and not be dragged into this dishonourable arena,” The Star quoted him as saying.
According to The Star, Anwar added that there was no evidence to suggest that the leaked videos came from within the party.
Mass prayer session
In a show of support for Azmin, the PKR mobilised its supporters to attend a prayer session at the Selangor menteri besar’s official residence on Wednesday night, Malaysiakini reported.
Citing a note circulated by the PKR, the news website said that the congregation would begin with Maghrib prayers before proceeding with special prayers (solat hajat) and Yaasin recital to “reject slander”.
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