Even behind bars, former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim cares greatly for the opposition coalition and its struggles, says his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Wan Azizah who leads Pakatan Harapan, said she is sometimes saddened by the fact that Anwar asks her more about developments in the party than about his family.
“But I accept that I am only his wife, while he belongs to all Malaysians. I am very proud to be given the opportunity to be the wife of a true fighter. Although he was shamed by his enemies and at times insulted by his own peers, Anwar never gave up.
“He will fight until the end of his life. My children and I have accepted that whole heartedly,” she told a crowd of 500 at a 1MDB-centred event here last night.
Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Anwar’s sacking from his position as deputy prime minister by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Reminding all those present of that event in 1999, Wan Azizah said her new ally, former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, now pro-tem president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), was one of the first to visit Anwar after the sacking.
“Perhaps not many know how close Muhyiddin and Anwar were. I still remember the sad and disappointed look on Muhyiddin’s face when he came to our house. He was given a stern warning by the prime minister (then Dr Mahathir Mohamad) for meeting us. Perhaps that was the reason he was not chosen to replace Anwar.
“He had also expressed intention to retire after Anwar was sacked, but thank God he didn’t, as he now gets to join us in our fight.”
Seven months after Anwar was sacked, he was accused of sodomy and subsequently sentenced to six years’ jail but was acquitted on appeal. In 2015 he was sentenced to five years’ jail on a different sodomy charge.
He had played a huge role in the formation of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance of DAP, PKR, and PAS which contested and won state power in 2008 and 2013.
It fell apart the same year he went to prison, with Pakatan Harapan being formed not long after, consisting DAP and PKR, and Parti Amanah Negara, a splinter group of PAS politicians.
Wan Azizah said Pakatan Harapan could deliver better results than that achieved by Pakatan Rakyat in 2013, if all the component parties can set aside their differences and focus on serving the nation.
“If Anwar can get the opposition to sit down and work together to defeat Umno-BN, we (the opposition) today can do it too,” she said, welcoming Bersatu’s assistance in making this goal a reality.