The tension between the different camps in PKR reached the next level when party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim asked his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to resign if the alleged sex videos on the latter were proven to be genuine.
Besides being PKR deputy president, Azmin is also the current Minister of Economic Affairs, a board member in Khazanah Nasional Bhd and a member of Economic Action Council (EAC). Meanwhile, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the Prime Minister, chairman of Khazanah’s board and EAC.
These circumstances enhanced the plausibility of the conspiracy that Mahathir is grooming Azmin to be his successor rather than Anwar.
According to the dependency of PKR leaders, the media exposure of Anwar and Azmin started to be close with one another from July 14th. It was the day Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador announced that the police had identified the mastermind behind the production and distribution of the sex videos.
On the next day, Haziq Abdullah, the man who claimed to be in the gay sex videos with Azmin, was arrested along with five other suspects.
Following that, Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa was also arrested on July 17. Subsequently, Anwar launched a direct attack on Azmin.
The PKR president asked his deputy to resign if the latter were proven to be the man in the sex videos. When Anwar was asked to comment about the arrest of his aide, he said that he was surprised by the news as he only learned about Farhash’s arrest from the media.
But Azmin did not remain quiet upon receiving the jab. The Economic Affairs Minister asked Anwar to look at himself in the mirror, referring to the alleged sex video of Anwar which was released in 2011.
The video showcased an intimate affair between a man resembling the PKR president and a woman, presumably a prostitute.
It was a feisty war of words between the two top leaders of PKR which led to an official joint statement by 22 leaders in the party to stop gutter politics and urging Anwar to stop making divisive statement.
Four out of the six vice-presidents of PKR were named in the joint statements; Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua, Xavier Jayakumar and Ali Biju.
Interestingly, Ali Biju was one of the three individuals personally elected by Anwar to become PKR vice-presidents after the party leadership election was over.
On the other hand, Rafizi Ramli who is openly known to be on Anwar’s side remains below the radar. The former Pandan MP went head to head with Azmin during the 2018 PKR leadership election but was defeated by 2,905 votes.
The news that Rafizi appeared in for the past month were conspiratorial in nature, without any new statement from him. For example, the appointment of Latheefa Koya as MACC chief, the claim that BN stole RM25 billion through ECRL project, Najib’s claim that Lim Kit Siang planned the formation of Bersatu and undoubtedly the latest Anwar-Azmin war following the sex videos scandal.
On Azmin’s side, his supporters have shown that they are prepared for an all-out war against their party president with the joint statement. Will Anwar’s supporters do the same? Will Rafizi re-emerge from his media hiatus to defend Anwar?