South China Morning Post today says Azmin Ali, the Economic Affairs minister embroiled in a gay-sex video scandal is ‘viewed by some as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s preferred successor”.
Last month, The Star in Kuala Lumpur said leaked sex videos purporting to show a potential successor to Dr Mahathir with another man have deepened rifts within the ruling coalition and raised concerns of a turbulent transition from the 93-year-old leader.
The Star however says Azmin denied being in the video, which is not the case. There is no where in any statements that Azmin says he is not the man.
But the local daily says Azmin is said to be close to Dr Mahathir.
The Hong Kong based paper, SCMP, says Azmin the deputy president of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR, or National Justice Party), which is led by Anwar Ibrahim, 71, sparred publicly with his leader over a range of issues.
Note that the latest Azmin attack against Anwar is his support for Dr Mahathir’s son Mukhriz who said there is no timeline for the PM to hand over power to Anwar.
Anwar is poised to succeed Dr Mahathir, 94, as prime minister at some point during the current electoral term but the handover is fraught with challenges for Anwar as Dr Mahathir is not seen playing the game fairly despite numerous statements from him that he will keep a promise to Anwar to hand over to the latter.“However, Mahathir last year handed Azmin, 54, control of a powerful new ministry overseeing major state-owned companies, fuelling reports of a rivalry between Anwar and Azmin,” wrote SCMP. On the other hand, The Star says the gay-sex video episode has sharpened focus on whether Dr Mahathir will stick to the promise before last year’s general election to hand over power to Anwar. It says this is precursor to a potential for political instability in Malaysia. The question the people and the grassroots in Pakatan Harapan is asking is why did Dr Mahathir or Azmin Ali not deny such allegations of Azmin getting ready to be next PM and that the PM has his preference for Azmin? This is not a healthy situation because it causes what The Star says, political instability but also festers economic uncertainty. We know Dr Mahathir is sharp and pretty fast in responding to assertions that are not true or perceived to be true. Why the silence on claims that Azmin is in a tussle against Anwar on the PM post? Why no funny and sarcastic remarks by Dr Mahathir on Azmin eyeing the PM post with his tacit backing? No reporters out there dare ask the real and the right questions?