“That very night, Mahathir summoned Daim Zainuddin for an emergency meeting to discuss the Anwar problem. It was during this meeting that a decision was made to sack the deputy premier immediately after Merdeka celebrations concluded. Daim was told that he would be appointed interim Minister of Finance while Mahathir “sorted things out” with the AG and the Prime Minister’s Office. Unbeknown to many, there were two other people present during the said meeting”
THE THIRD FORCE
Ever get a nudging feeling that Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali isn’t who he portrays himself to be? What if I were to tell you that this fellow has been putting on a very big act all these years, that he’s never really been a true Anwar supporter from day one? You would never believe a word I say, right?
Well, consider this:
Born to the family of Haji Ali Omar in Singapore, Azmin first met Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the eighties during one of the then premier’s trips to the United States (US). Fresh out of school, the 24 year old would organise forums for the Prime Minister at the University of Minnesota where he was then pursuing his bachelors degree. As the story goes, the duo hit it off so well that Mahathir even agreed to grace Azmin’s wedding ceremony in 1988 as the guest of honour.
Up to this point, everything I’ve said is in sync with what the Selangor Menteri Besar himself went on record to tell the media. But this is where things take a peculiar turn – according to some bloggers, it was Mahathir who assigned Azmin the task of becoming Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Special Officer in government. However, late last night, TTF was presented with some evidence that tells somewhat of a different story altogether.
As it turns out, Azmin was secretly ‘assigned’ by Mahathir to pry into Anwar’s dealings with a group of prominent Chinese bankers that Daim Zainuddin wanted ‘gone’. The Prime Minister knew that Azmin was bisexual and would get along very well with Anwar. But more than that, he knew that Anwar would take an immediate liking to Azmin as the latter was lovable and rather gay looking.
And that’s precisely what happened.
Not only did Anwar latch on to Azmin like a leach would a wound, as time went by, he began sharing the most intimate of moments with the Singapore born, regularly bringing the later back to his home much to Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s disgust. Things were going as planned – once every two months or so, Azmin would meet Mahathir at the latter’s residence to report of Anwar’s dealings with other cabinet ministers and the group of Chinese bankers.
However, Azmin’s affection for Anwar gradually got the better of him. Over the years, that affection drew him closer and closer to the newly minted deputy premier to a point that caused his own relationship with his wife to suffer. As the years progressed, the secret meetings between Mahathir and Azmin gradually became non-existent as the latter was either busy accompanying Anwar abroad or fixing the deputy premier up with young lads.
Needless to say, all the time Azmin spent together with Anwar allowed him to acquire many of the latter’s idiosyncrasies and mannerisms. By the mid nineties, his gestures and expressions were so Anwar-like, many a banker would often quip how virtually indistinguishable the two were from one another. For instance, every time Azmin represented Anwar in corporate meetings, those attending would remark how it seemed as if Anwar was in the room doing all the talking.
But that’s not all.
Azmin learned only to hire those who were ‘money crazy’ and inexperienced to partake in his team’s pursuits. He was taught by Anwar to use these people as rubber stamps and signatories whenever it concerned transactions and agreements that were in breach of established laws. Now, it is not as if Mahathir wasn’t aware of all that was going on.
On the contrary, he was watching with a keen eye and waiting for the right moment to pounce on Anwar. That opportunity presented itself in June 1998 when the deputy premier got his people to openly state that the 1997 economic crisis unleashed a gale of destructive tendencies that threatened to cripple the nation. The minute it was implied that a culture of nepotism and cronyism had been traced to the top leadership, Mahathir drew the line.
Early the next month, he summoned Azmin to his office and delivered an ultimatum – either he was with Anwar or with the party’s topmost coterie. When Azmin pressed for reasons, Mahathir revealed that two Special Branch officers from Bukit Aman had presented documentary evidence proving that Anwar regularly engaged in homosexual acts. Now, one of the files on Mahathir’s table had some intimate pictures of Azmin in it.
At this point, the Singapore born knew precisely what he needed to do without the need for Mahathir to spell it out. You see, Azmin knew Anwar like he did the back of his palm. He knew that if he were to tell the deputy premier what he had just learned, the latter would spill the beans pertaining a planned coup attempt that was then on the anvil. So Azmin went ahead and informed Anwar what Mahathir had told him.
As luck had it, things worked out just the way Azmin had imagined they would. A furious Anwar immediately confided in him that the then Attorney-General (AG), Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, had agreed to draw up a charge sheet against Mahathir on charges of criminal misfeasance. Azmin was told that nobody knew of the plan as Mohtar trusted no-one to keep the info secret. The very next day, Azmin met Mahathir.
The Prime Minister was told that he may be arrested a week after the then upcoming Merdeka celebrations. According to Azmin, Anwar presented the AG with some documents that had to do with Dato’ Seri Mokhzani Mahathir’s dealings with Pantai Holdings Berhad. Mahathir was told that the documents bore evidence of criminal impropriety involving the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance.
That very night, Mahathir summoned Daim Zainuddin for an emergency meeting to discuss the Anwar problem. It was during this meeting that a decision was made to sack the deputy premier immediately after the Merdeka celebrations concluded. Daim was told that he would be appointed interim Minister of Finance while Mahathir “sorted things out” with the AG and the Prime Minister’s Office. Unbeknown to many, there were two other people present during the said meeting.
Now, if you’re thinking that Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali was one of them, you’re spot on.
But does Anwar know this?
How did I come to know about it?
Well, let us wait and see if Azmin responds to this article. Assuming he does, my advise is for him to come clean on a meeting he had with Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in London earlier this year. I think the people have a right to know what was discussed during the said meeting. For instance, is Azmin planning to do what he and Mahathir did in 1998 weeks before Anwar was sacked from government?
Over to you, Azmin.