Malaysiakini -Zikri Kamarulzaman (3 September 2016)
Incarcerated former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim asks more about political developments than about his family whenever they visit him in prison, his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed.
“Sometimes I feel sad when he asks more about our struggle, our party and our (opposition) pact, than he asks about our family.
“But I have accepted the fact that I am only Anwar’s wife, and that Anwar belongs to all Malaysians,” she said at an anti-1MDB organised by PKR in Sabak Bernam, a town located in the northern tip of Selangor, last night.
The roadshow coincided with the 18th anniversary of Anwar’s sacking as deputy prime minister.
Anwar was sacked by then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1998, after he started speaking out against corruption and nepotism within the government.
Seven months later, in April 1999, Anwar was sentenced to six years in jail for sodomy. He was released in 2004, but was jailed again, for Sodomy II, in 2015, and is currently serving a five-year sentence in the Sungai Buloh Prison.
Critics have said that the charges against him were politically motivated, and were meant to stem Anwar’s influence against the government.
He has been instrumental in forming the now-defunct opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat, which denied the ruling coalition BN its two-thirds majority in Parliament in the 2008 and 2013 general elections.
The coalition fell apart after Anwar was jailed, and after former PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat passed away, DAP and PAS clashed on issues and DAP officially declared Pakatan dead in June 2015.
Wan Azizah, who now heads Pakatan Harapan – the new coalition made up of PKR, DAP and PAS-splinter group Amanah – said the opposition can achieve what it has in the past, if the coalition members put aside their differences and sacrifice their efforts for the nation.
“If Anwar can get the opposition to sit down and work together to defeat Umno-BN, then we (the opposition) can do it too, today,” she said, adding that PKR welcomed the presence of Umno offshoot Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in the opposition.
Bersatu pro-tem president Muhyiddin Yassin was among those present at the event.