Malaysiakini NEWS

As temperature rises, Dr M, Anwar call for PKR to cool down

Lu Wei Hoong & Zikri Kamarulzaman
Published:  |  Modified:

Amid boiling tensions in PKR, party president Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad have called for an end to infighting.

However, the absence of PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, who is at loggerheads with Anwar, from the party's leadership retreat in Port Dickson tonight has raised some eyebrows.

Tensions between Anwar and Azmin reached a boiling point after the PKR president said his deputy should resign if a sex video implicating him was real.

Azmin, however, is scheduled to speak at the retreat tomorrow.

Speaking at the opening, Anwar said tensions must be resolved for the greater good.

"Whatever our problems, we must resolve it immediately, because we have a responsibility to strengthen the Harapan government," he said.

Meanwhile, Mahathir reminded PKR that prior to forming the government last year, all in Harapan managed to set aside their differences and "hatred" for the greater good.

"We met and discussed, argued and made peace, disagreed and compromised.

"Even though there might still be ill-feelings over some matters, we set it aside and moved forward as a team," the prime minister said.

Mahathir also warned of opportunists and saboteurs who could bring the Harapan government down if not dealt with.

When met by reporters after the opening ceremony, both Mahathir and Anwar declined to comment on Azmin's absence.

Despite his absence, several leaders affiliated with Azmin particularly during the party election last year, such as vice-president Dr Xavier Jayakumar, and leadership council members Elizabeth Wong and Rashid Hasnon were present tonight.

PKR had been divided between those aligned to Anwar and Azmin for years, but the situation has been exacerbated over the past month following the circulation of a sex video implicating the latter.

Speculation has been rife that the video is related to the tussle over the prime minister's post, following claims that Mahathir preferred Azmin to succeed him despite an earlier agreement that Anwar would inherit the reins.

Azmin, who is also economic affairs minister, is also convinced that those responsible for the video are from within PKR.

Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador revealed that the leader of a political party was the mastermind behind a “wicked plot” to tarnish Azmin's reputation.

Anwar’s political secretary was among those detained in connection with the case. The PKR president himself has denied any involvement.

The police also said that although the video is most likely authentic, the facial recognition process failed to confirm that Azmin was one of the two men recorded engaging in sexual acts.

Former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Rahman, who is currently in police detention, had claimed to be one of the men in the video and alleged that Azmin was the other person.

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