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Malaysia police say political party leader Is behind sex videos

  • Anisah Shukry

    Bloomberg

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   /   Fri, July 19, 2019   /   11:22 am
Malaysia police say political party leader Is behind sex videos Leader-in-waiting: Anwar Ibrahim, founder and president of Malaysia’s People’s Justice Party, listens during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, US, on Wednesday. (Bloomberg/Christopher Goodney)

A Malaysian police investigation has found “a leader of a political party” is the mastermind behind sex videos that have led to the clearest sign yet of rifts within the country’s ruling party.
The police didn’t name the leader or the party linked to the videos, but this week remanded the political secretary to leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is expected to succeed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, to help with the investigation.

The probe found a conspiracy behind the videos, which were produced by those who were paid “hundreds of thousands of ringgit” with the aim of embarrassing and damaging the reputation of a certain person, Inspector General Abdul Hamid Bador said in a statement late Thursday.

Nearly half of the ruling People’s Justice Party’s leadership backed a Thursday statement calling on Anwar to stop making “divisive statements.” That comes after Anwar called on his deputy, Minister of Economy Affairs Azmin Ali, to resign if sex videos allegedly featuring him are proven to be true.

While the videos have a high likelihood of being authentic, the analysis is unable to link the person featured in it to the accused minister, the police said.

The scandal has revealed divisions within the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which have otherwise shown a united front in its support for Mahathir. The uncertainty lies in the successor for the 94-year-old premier, with the People’s Justice Party split into two sides -- one backing Anwar and one backing Azmin -- according to a ranking official within the coalition who asked not to be identified.

Mahathir has consistently said he will keep his promise to hand over power to Anwar, while refraining from setting a date for the transition.

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