Malaysia's Anwar Says He Has Support to Become PM, Decries Sex Tape 'Gutter Politics'
Malaysia's People's Justice Party (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim denied calling for a potential challenger, Azmin Ali, to resign over a new gay sex scandal.
File photo of Anwar Ibrahim.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim, jailed twice for what he says were trumped-up sodomy charges, said on Thursday he has the support needed to become prime minister and denied calling for a potential challenger to resign over a new gay sex scandal.
Indications of divisions in Anwar's People's Justice Party (PKR) surfaced after a series of videos circulated among politicians and journalists in June, allegedly showing Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali and another man having sex.
Gay sex is illegal in Malaysia, and carries penalties of jail and whipping if convicted.
Azmin, the deputy head of PKR and seen as close to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said he was not in the videos which he called a "nefarious plot" to end his career.
Anwar denied news reports that he had called for Azmin to resign if the videos were proved to be authentic. Anwar said his comments were taken out of context.
"On the issue of the sex video, from the beginning we expressed disgust at the manner the gutter politics has been played," Anwar told reporters in parliament on Thursday.
Anwar brushed aside talk of a challenge from Azmin for the premiership.
"I've got the numbers, I've got the support of Pakatan Harapan and the prime minister," he said, referring to the ruling coalition of which PKR is the biggest party. "It is not fair to me or to Azmin to indicate otherwise."
Anwar was earlier rebuked by more than 20 members of PKR's supreme council over his comments reported on Wednesday.
"We urge (Anwar) as the Party President to stop making such divisive statements," the council said in a statement. "We call upon him to work instead to unite the party in the interest of our members, Pakatan Harapan and our country."
Anwar said he accepted the criticism, which he said was a call for him to strengthen party unity.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months. Use code FREEDOM.
Recommended For You
- Jio Effect: Tata Sky Broadband Offers 6 Months Additional Usage on Annual Plans
- Deadpool Star Ryan Reynolds Just Broke Hearts of Marvel Fans Who Begged Him to Save Spider-Man
- Hardik Pandya Turns Showstopper at Lakme Fashion Week
- World Badminton Championships: B Sai Praneeth Enter Quarters, HS Prannoy Loses
- Not Just a Dropped Pin: Spacewalking Scientists Add Parking Spot to International Space Station