Azmin’s the expert on recordings, says Anwar, refusing to be drawn into audio clip issue

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Anwar Ibrahim has said Mohamed Azmin Ali’s views on an audio recording purportedly of a conversation between the PKR president and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the Gombak lawmaker’s personal view.

Zhafaran Nasib/The Star

“That’s his (Azmin’s) view. He is an expert when it comes to audio and video (recordings),” the Opposition leader said at a press conference today.

The Port Dickson MP refused to be drawn into the matter further.

Yesterday, Azmin said that he recognised Anwar’s voice because he worked alongside the latter for decades, calling the audio recording the “biggest act of betrayal” of PKR and Pakatan Harapan (PH) by Anwar.

He is the second former PKR leader after Ampang MP Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin to say they are confident Anwar is one of the two voices caught on the audio clip.

Azmin said Anwar and Zahid should at least come clean to their own parties.

Zahid has dismissed the audio clip as fake, adding that it was a disgusting political gambit released by people wanting to “undermine and destroy Umno”.

In the conversation, voices – supposed to be those of Zahid and Anwar – were discussing the outcome of the recent Umno General Assembly, at which the party severed ties with Bersatu and PN.

Anwar had also refuted any part in the clip but caused more controversy by defending the content.

“What is wrong with the conversation, if it is true. Is there any criminal element or is it wrong?” Anwar said on Saturday in an online forum organised by Majlis Professor Negara.

“There is nothing wrong with the audio,” he told Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Prof Dr Mohamad Agus Yusof, who was interviewing him.

A four-minute audio clip was uploaded on Facebook last week, purporting to be a conversation between Opposition Leader Anwar and his Umno foe Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, sent ripples through Malaysia’s political circles.

In the phone conversation, one man, with a voice resembling Anwar’s, praised the other for the political speech delivered at Umno’s 75th annual general assembly last month.

Zahid has rejected the recording as fake and an attempt to weaken and destroy Umno.

Anwar’s reaction has been similar. He called it slanderous and the latest ploy by “some elements in the government leadership” to damage inter-party ties within the Opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition ahead of GE15.

However, on Saturday, Anwar also downplayed the audio leak, saying there was nothing illegal in the conversations if it was “genuine”.

Meanwhile, Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said even if the recording, which suggested that Anwar and Zahid were working together, was genuine, there was no issue at all.

“Anwar has denied (the recording) but even if it’s real, what’s the problem? Nothing said in the conversation is a crime,” he said, adding that the real crime was slandering others.

Abdullah Sani urged Azmin to “check” the gay sex video he was implicated in. “Check that video and let us know if it is genuine or not.”

In 2019, shortly after a video of two men engaging in homosexual activities went viral, former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Aziz claimed he and Azmin were the men in the video.

Azmin denied the allegation and subsequently, then attorney-general Tommy Thomas decided against prosecuting those linked to the video as the identities of those in the footage could not be determined.

DAP’s Charles Santiago questioned why Azmin was so eager to ask the police to investigate the purported conversation when no laws had been broken.

The Klang MP said the bigger issue was whether Anwar or Zahid’s phones were tapped.

“If it is real, I don’t think either Anwar or Zahid is involved because neither would want to implicate each other.

Low Lay Phon/The Star

“The question is who has the capacity to gather this type of intelligence? Who has the most to gain from leaking this conversation and splitting Umno further?”

Santiago also said Azmin should be the last person to talk about treachery since he was one of the prime movers of the Sheraton Move that led to the fall of the Pakatan Harapan administration.