KUALA LUMPUR: PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has downplayed the exchange between him and his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, saying Azmin was going trough a difficult time.
Anwar said he was not upset over Azmin’s remarks but the Economic Affairs Minister probably did not fully comprehend his remarks as reported by the media.
“What Azmin said yesterday, I give him deference.
“He is going through a very difficult period. I think I would certainly not respond to some of his spontaneous outbursts. I don’t think it’s fair to him either, in his position. He probably did not read the full text,” Anwar told reporters at the Parliament lobby, here today.
Anwar also dismissed speculation that Azmin could be an obstacle to him becoming prime minister, saying he has the necessary backing from Pakatan Harapan to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“I have the numbers, the support of Pakatan Harapan MPs and the prime minister, so it’s not fair to me or Azmin to say otherwise.
“What we want to express is our disgust at the gutter politics being played now,” he added.
Also present during the press conference were PKR lawmakers, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani), Ali Anak Biju (Saratok), Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Ledang), Chang Lih Kang (Tanjung Malim), and Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo), Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (Kapar).
Anwar also stressed people should not exploit Azmin’s statement on the matter.
On Wednesday, Azmin said Anwar should “look at the man in the mirror”
“Read my lips ... Tell him he must look at the man in the mirror,“ said Azmin, adding that Anwar should reflect on his own actions.
Earlier in the day, Anwar suggested that Azmin should resign if he was conclusively identified as one of the two men in a viral sex video.
This morning, 23 members of the PKR central committee openly rebuked Anwar in a joint statement for suggesting Azmin should resign as the economic affairs minister if the sex videos are genuine.
When asked about the statement signed by a group of PKR leaders who said that he should not have called for Azmin’s resignation, Anwar said some of those who signed had misunderstood his statement.
However, he also acknowledged that these were good intentions to unite the party.
So far, nine people have been arrested under suspicion of distributing the lewd clips, including former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdul Aziz who openly admitted that he was one of two men shown in the videos.
Haziq named Azmin as the other man, a claim rejected by the minister who pointed fingers at a conspiracy to end his political career.
Among those arrested was Perak PKR chief and Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak.