27 PKR Central Leadership Council members and MPs issued a statement today criticising party president Anwar Ibrahim for suggesting that Azmin should take leave if the videos prove authentic.
Led by vice-presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin, Chua Tian Chang and Ali Biju, the group said Anwar’s public comments about Azmin were inappropriate and predicated on assertions that remain unproven.
“He should be focussing on the key issue here, which is that there is an organised attempt to use gutter politics to bring down our leaders.
“He should be more concerned about the criminal offences committed by this group who have systematically and widely distributed a video displaying sex acts,” they said in a joint statement.
They also reminded Anwar that he previously said Azmin need not resign over the scandal before his assertion otherwise yesterday.
Anwar should be using his position and influence to aid Azmin in the scandal, they said, and not undermine his own deputy using speculation.
Like Azmin, they also drew Anwar’s attention to his previous sex scandals and stressed that party members had steadfastly defended and rallied support around him during those episodes, citing his 2011 “Datuk T” sex video scandal as an example.
“He should remember Azmin has defended him and his family for more than 20 years against the same type of gutter politics.
“We urge Anwar as party president to stop making such divisive statements,” they said when telling him to redouble efforts towards improving PKR, Pakatan Harapan and the country’s interests.
Aside from the three vice presidents, other signatories of the statement include Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Baru Bian, Wanita PKR chief Haniza Talha, Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara, Amirudin Shaari, Datuk Rashid Hasnon, Sivarasa Rasiah, Rahimah Majid, Elizabeth Wong, Zakaria Abdul Hamid, Mohd Razlan Jalaludin, Datuk Mansor Othman, Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, Azmizam Zaman Huri, Gan Pei Nei, Hee Loy Sian, Lee Kai Loon, Daroyah Alwi and Muhammad Hilman Idham.
They were supported by four PKR federal lawmakers Steven Chong (Tebrau), Jonathan Yasin (Ranau), Willy Mongin (Puncak Borneo) and Maria Chin Abdullah (Petaling Jaya).
Another PKR vice-president, Dr Xavier Jayakumar, appended his signature to the joint statement after it was released.
After Anwar’s political secretary was arrested on Tuesday in connection with Azmin’s scandal, the PKR president came out to say his deputy should relinquish his economic affairs portfolio in the Cabinet if the sex videos are genuine.
Yesterday, Azmin responded angrily to Anwar’s suggestion by telling the latter to “look in the mirror”.