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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Thursday 20 June 2019

Another Day, Another Sex Scandal in Malaysia


Sex and Politics: Azmingate

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mohd Ariff Sabri. I used to be an active politician. I used to be an MP. But I was struck by a stroke a few months before the 14th General Election and was therefore unable to participate in it. Eventually, I learned to accept this fate with an open heart. Perhaps God has a better plan than me being simply an MP.

Despite my illness, my interest in the governing and politics of Malaysia has not wavered. For the past year or so, I have watched as events unfold. The promises that were fulfilled (and those that weren’t), the grandstanding, the debates, postponed court cases, the earnest hard work to rebuild or reinvent—all these I’ve kept a weathered eye on.

But out of the blue emerges the Scandal. The Sex Tape. The Video that has undoubtedly shocked many people, not just with its content but also with the sheer unexpected-ness of it all. For who among us saw this coming? Certainly not the people in the video, I’m sure.

As long-time readers know, I have never shied away from controversial opinions. Therefore, I’m not afraid to admit that when I first heard about this dastardly tale, my mind immediately thought, “What a clever plan.” In Malaysia, it sometimes seems as if politicians can get away with anything, from embezzlement to fraud to openly racist remarks to maybe even murder. But a gay sex scandal? Let’s bring out the torches and pitchforks.

Who do I think concocted this plan? Again, I had an immediate thought: the Anwaristas, as I dub them. Supporters loyal only to Anwar Ibrahim and who answers to him and him alone. The fanatics steadfast in their belief that there can only be one star in PKR. The sycophants within the party who prove that, GE-14 or not, there still exists some Brownshirts who will stop at nothing to further their own wicked interests.

Let’s examine this story.

Azmin is alleged to have committed an unnatural sex act; he is alleged to have performed homosexual relations. His accuser, Haziq Abdullah, has admitted that he is one of the actors and wasted no time in throwing his “partner” under the bus. Azmin, he declares, is the other participant in the video. Azmin, he urges MACC, should be investigated for corruption and is unfit to be a leader.

How odd. Where is the logical correlation here? In one breath, Haziq Abdullah went from confessing to being an unsuspecting victim of an illegally-obtained video to pointing the finger of justice at Azmin Ali. Even odder, he seems overly eager to come clean about his role in the tape. An emboldened move to take back his power from the villains who recorded and leaked the video? Or something else more politically-motivated? Call me cynical for this latter opinion, but Haziq appears very overzealous to besmirch Azmin Ali.

If Haziq is to be believed, then maybe hell hath has no fury like a scorned lover because the young man is much too eager to accuse Azmin and be the conductor for Azmin’s downfall.

Why, you ask? Why is Azmin Ali the target of a political assassination? It’s rather simple, really. He’s a good politician, one with the potential to be the next Prime Minister.

When BN was finally toppled in 2018, I had two principal opinions. One: the next five years will be crucial in ensuring the Malaysian majority that they’ve made the right choice. We have to knock down the stained and crumbling house and re-lay the foundation, and there is no one better to oversee this reconstruction than Tun Mahathir.

Two: once the exalted Tun hangs his hat (for the second time), it may be better to replace him with someone other than the man currently anointed to be the next PM. A face that isn’t part of the Mahathir-Anwar-Najib saga. Thus, when a friend asked me who should be the next PM, it was an easy answer on my part: Azmin Ali. He fits the mould: relatively younger than the man anointed to be the next PM but experienced enough to carry the wisdom—and just the wisdom—of the Old Guard. The change we elected last year should stay its course and Azmin Ali, in my view, can steer the ship.

However, there’s a funny thing we sometimes do in Malaysian politics. We’re not fond of talented people—anyone perceived to be a future threat is squashed so completely there would be little to no chance of him or her getting the spotlight. This practice is mostly done by more established politicians and their henchmen. Azmin Ali, a good PM material, is not a surprising mark. All machinations and intrigue must be marshalled against him, the poor fellow. Burn the coal entirely before it has the chance to become a diamond.

At this point, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: all thoughts and opinions are my own. But I daresay I’m not alone with my suspicions. Some leopards can’t change their spots, etc., etc. Some people, no matter how loud they screamed “Ubah” last year, can’t drop their old mentality of dirty politics. Anwar may not be directly involved but he won’t stop his followers from assassinating Azmin’s character if it works to his advantage. Anything that removes the impediments to him becoming PM is great. This accusation may stick and Anwar knows firsthand how such a claim can ruin a man and his career.

Azmin on his part has told the public to wait for the outcome of police investigations. The police may have finished their investigations but for some reason, have shared this with the public. Instead, they may have reported their findings to Tun Mahathir, who is sufficiently satisfied with the results to make his own conclusions. Why else would he confidently state his support for Azmin Ali otherwise?

If my theory is correct, then I must say it’s such a stupid thing to do. Hasn’t history shown Azmin’s defamers how their action can backfire? This feels like déjà vu, folks. And if Anwar’s apparatchiks are responsible for this mess, this won’t help their idol. Stupid shenanigans like these will simply serve to diminish Anwar. Stupid shenanigans like these were the same methods employed by the former ruling party members. And where are they now? Where is their esteemed leader?

So while we wait with bated breath to see the outcome, what are Azmin’s options? The brazen choice would be to toss his name in the PKR presidential hat. If he wins, he could perform a political party cleanse. If he loses, he could—and likely should—quit PKR. From here, he could join a party whose members may not be overly fond of him but unwilling to employ dirty tactics. Or he could start another party. A competent opposition is always essential for checks and balances, and Azmin Ali is certainly no stranger to forming new opposition parties.

My final word is this: to the scoundrels seeking to destroy Azmin Ali, it’s highly likely you won’t succeed. The world is different now. More and more people are able to think on their own. Your old, dirty tactics are ineffectual, even pathetic. And PKR members, let’s unite—we have nothing to lose but our manliness. If being in Azmin’s camp means we’re gays, let us all become gays.

- Sakmongkolak47.

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