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Jakarta Post

Anwar-Azmin feud: My loyalty has a limit, says Azmin

  • Zakiyah Koya

    The Star/ Asia News Network

Shah Alam, Malaysia   /   Mon, July 22, 2019   /   08:18 am
Anwar-Azmin feud: My loyalty has a limit, says Azmin Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said that he will work together with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who had extended an olive branch on Saturday (July 20) at a retreat which the former and his allies did not attend. (ANN/ST/Reuters)

As he pledged loyalty to Prime Minister  Mahathir Mohamad,  Azmin Ali  warned those who try to bring him down that his loyalty has a limit. 

The Economic Affairs Minister, however, insisted that he was not directing this to anyone specifically.

Azmin also said that he will work together with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim who had extended an olive branch on Saturday (July 20) at a retreat which the former and his allies did not attend.

"Yes (I will work together with Anwar). He is president and I'm the deputy.

"Don't provoke the president and deputy president. We have been together for many decades," he said to the media at the gathering of solidarity attended by hundreds of people comprising PKR leaders and members here on Sunday (July 21).

Azmin said that he held the thanksgiving gathering at Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari's official residence to thank those who had supported him all along while he was "slandered for five weeks" over a sex video.

Earlier, during an hour-long speech, Azmin said that he will never betray friendship.

"For five weeks, my family and I have been slandered. I did not drag the people for their support, but I know from feedback, the people supported me. 

"Authorities have also conducted investigations. Doctors and police questioned me and I gave my cooperation because I'm innocent.

"The Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador himself has verified there were invisible hands involved with hundreds of thousands of ringgit spent to bring me down. You may plan with the big towkays but God disposes. 

"I have never betrayed friendship but when there is someone who betrays the struggle of the people, I will not back down," said Azmin to a cheering crowd.

He also pledged loyalty to Dr Mahathir, who he said has advised him to concentrate on improving the economy.  

"The 94-year-old (Dr Mahathir) has values and principles, but there are those who are less older with no values. It is time, that we are not afraid in this struggle. We defend the right and fight the wrong.

"We ask the young to vote but the young cannot accept gutter politics. They want to see a government with values, but there is still a group who is willing to play gutter politics. I promise to stand up to any attacks against me. 

"I am not surprised at what has happened as I know who is behind this. I know, but we leave it to the authorities. 

"I may look calm but do not think my calmness has nothing lurking. Do not insinuate. I will remain loyal to the PM. I will not be led by the nose but by principles. 

"Do not scold those who had to be absent from party meetings because they have to work," said Azmin, adding that ministers had work to do. 

Azmin was referring to those who did not attend the PKR retreat.

A number of PKR central leadership council members and 15 PKR MPs did not show up at the event.

The feud between Anwar and Azmin escalated recently after a viral sex video made its rounds last month.

Anwar said that Azmin should resign if he indeed was the one identified as one of the two men in the video.

Azmin retaliated by telling Anwar to "look in the mirror". 

The IGP had said that CyberSecurity Malaysia could not identify those in the video through facial recognition. 

Anwar later softened his stance at the PKR retreat and said he accepted it was not Azmin in the video.   

Anwar also had said that both him and Azmin were still a team.

As of July 21, police have arrested and remanded 11 men in connection with the sex video. 

Among them are former PKR member Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz and Anwar's political secretary and Perak PKR chief Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak. 

Haziq had confessed publicly that he was one of the two men in the video and alleged the other person was Azmin.