Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s prime-minister-in-waiting, yesterday denied that he had sexually assaulted a former male aide, describing the accusation as “politics at its worst” days before his ruling party’s annual congress.
On Wednesday, a statement issued by Anwar’s former aide, Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, accused the former deputy premier of attempting to force him to have sex in September last year.
Reuters could not immediately reach Muhammed Yusoff, but he read out the allegations in a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday. His statement was made to a law officer, according to a copy seen by Reuters.
Anwar has spent nearly a decade in jail on two separate counts of sodomy and for corruption, charges that he and his supporters maintain were aimed at ending his political career.
“I heard about this a month ago. It’s not new, attempts to try and influence and bribe or whatever, but this is politics at its worst,” Anwar said on Thursday.
“Our congress is in two days, so you should anticipate all these sorts of things.”
The latest allegations come at a time when Anwar looks to end a feud with Azmin Ali, his deputy in the People’s Justice Party (PKR) and a potential challenger for the premiership promised to Anwar by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.