Malaysia's People's Justice Party asks Haziq to explain his claim about sex video

PETALING JAYA (The Straits Times/ANN) -  He will be given a show-cause letter, far short of a call by Azmin's allies to sack him.

The young man at the centre of a Malaysian sex scandal will be directed by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to explain his claim that he was in a sex video with Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, tarnishing the reputation of the minister and the party.

The claim by Mr Haziq Aziz, 27, a PKR youth chief from Santubong in Sarawak, has spiked tensions in the biggest party in Malaysia's parliament with 50 MPs.

The scandal has also threatened the stability of Malaysia's four-party ruling alliance Pakatan Harapan, which includes PKR.

After a tense meeting of PKR's political bureau yesterday evening led by its president Anwar Ibrahim, the party said Mr Haziq will be given a "show-cause letter". This is far short of a call by allies of Datuk Seri Azmin for the young man to be sacked for bringing disrepute to the party.

Mr Haziq has claimed in a "confession" that he was one of the two men shown in a sex video that has gone viral. He also claimed that his partner was Mr Azmin.

The minister has vehemently denied it was him. Mr Azmin, 54, has in turn accused PKR insiders of masterminding the spread of the video to kill his political career in the majority-Muslim country, where sodomy and oral sex are outlawed and homosexual relations are deeply taboo.

Datuk Anwar and Mr Azmin lead rival factions in PKR, with the two groups fighting for political positions as the party gained widening support over the years.

At a news conference after the hour-long political bureau meeting yesterday, PKR's disciplinary committee chief Ahmad Kassim said: "A show-cause letter will be given to Santubong youth leader Haziq Aziz for smearing the party's name by making a statement which tarnished the reputation of the party leadership."

Mr Haziq will be given 14 days to reply, he said.

Just before the meeting, Mr Azmin's ally, PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin said she wanted Mr Haziq to be sacked. "Sex against the order of nature is a crime in this country," she had told reporters.

Mr Anwar's allies, on the other hand, said that should Mr Haziq be punished, then Mr Azmin should similarly be punished.

Mr Anwar's private secretary R. Suresh Kumar said: "If you really want to take action against Mr Haziq based on his confession, the same action will have to be taken against Mr Azmin.

"Remember, Mr Haziq not only confessed to being the individual in the videos, but he also confirmed that Mr Azmin was the individual with him in the video."

Reflecting the tense atmosphere, Mr Azmin did not show up at the meeting, although an issue involving himself was its only agenda. Ms Zuraida was present but skipped the news conference.

Asked about Mr Azmin's accusation about an inside job, Mr Anwar said: "All will be advised to adduce facts or evidence to support any allegations, because if this is supported with the facts or evidence, then the party will take immediate action, but there are forums that the party must respect and observe."

The Malaysian authorities are investigating the scandal, with statements recorded by the police from Mr Haziq, Mr Azmin and other potential witnesses.

Mr Haziq said he made the public confession for fear of becoming another Ms Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian national who was murdered in Malaysia in 2006 after an affair with an adviser of former premier Najib Razak.

"It was a risk but I would rather be in the spotlight than suffer the same fate as Ms Altantuya Shaariibuu," he was quoted as saying by The Sun Daily.

Asked if Ms Zuraida was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, Mr Anwar said there was a consensus on the decision over the show-cause letter.


No photos has been attached.