SINCE sex clips purportedly featuring the PKR deputy president went viral, Pakatan Harapan partners have been following the scandal quietly from the sidelines amid looming fears of a break-up of the pact’s largest party.
A DAP member, who spoke to The Malaysian Insight on condition of anonymity, said the party “is just monitoring the situation” until the authorities officially decide the veracity of the video.
“Nobody knows whether the clips are authentic, and it would be unfair to prejudge in the case,” said the two-term MP.
A series of clips and still photos were released on June 12 and 13, showing two men – one of whom is allegedly Mohamed Azmin Ali – in bed at a hotel in Sandakan during the Sabah constituency’s by-election last month.
Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz has admitted to being the other individual, while Azmin has denied involvement with the 27-year-old.
Following the release of the video, Haziq said he was threatened by Azmin’s political secretary, Muhammad Hilman Idham, to deny the economic affairs minister’s involvement, and doubled down by alleging he had three other intimate sessions with Azmin over the course of several years.
While the authorities have yet to confirm the authenticity of the video, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has chosen to stick with Azmin.
“Azmin is still in the cabinet because the prime minister thinks that it (video) hasn’t been proven. It shows that the prime minister still trusts him at the moment,” said International Islamic University Malaysia political science lecturer Dr Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar.
He said everything hinges on whether the clips are real.
Even though the video’s authenticity has not been confirmed, PKR is already divided into two factions – one backing president Anwar Ibrahim and the other, his former protégé, Azmin.
Azmin’s supporters have taken to social media to blame Anwar’s faction for what they claim is a smear campaign.
Shortly after the sex clips were circulated, former Anwar press aide Eekmal Ahmad said on Facebook: “It is quite evident who is behind the conspiracy to attack Azmin from where the person comes from.”
Accompanying the post was a photo of Anwar and Haziq in a group shot after watching Avengers: Endgame at The Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur on May 4.
Eekmal, who joined Azmin when the latter was Selangor menteri besar, has since deleted the post.
“Signs that PKR is breaking up are clear. Azmin’s supporters are increasingly pressuring Anwar to make a clear stance to support Azmin and take action against Haziq,” said Tunku Mohar.
“The narrative now is, the hesitance on Anwar’s part to take action is because his faction is behind this, and stands to gain from the scandal.
“A break-up is possible because Azmin’s faction makes up the majority of the party’s leadership positions.”
Universiti Utara Malaysia political science lecturer Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said it is “just a matter of time” before PKR breaks up.
However, he said, this should not pose too great a threat to the ruling pact.
“Although PKR may split up, MPs from the party will still be under the PH umbrella.”
An Amanah insider expressed confidence that the issue will not affect PH on the whole.
“Both Anwar and Azmin have their supporters, and it would be ugly for the party if the fallout continues. But it’s still very open where these supporters would go should the party break up.”
Another DAP lawmaker said Azmin’s side would have to rock the boat “very hard” to beat Anwar.
“He’s still the president, after all. And when loyalties are called upon, the scenario could change,” said the first-term MP.
Chan Kok Leong