Barisan once dangled DPM post if Anwar ditched Pakatan, says Nurul Izzah

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
15 February 2015

Barisan Nasional (BN) once offered the deputy prime minister’s post to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim if he abandoned Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which had won 52% of the popular vote in 2013, his daughter said last night.

PKR vice-president and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar told a ceramah in Penang that the offer was made during post-election reconciliatory talks.

“He was told to ignore PKR’s allies, PAS and DAP. Accept the offer, form a government… ‘que sera sera’ (whatever will be, will be), ‘kita bergembira bersama-sama’ (we be happy together).

“What decision did he make? He rejected the offer to the end because it dealt with the life and death of our struggles. As a coalition, we can only work together as long as it is based on principles,” she said at the ceramah in the Seberang Jaya expo site in Permatang Pauh where Anwar is the MP.

The ceramah was held to pay tribute to Anwar, who is jailed in the Sungai Buloh prison after the Federal Court rejected the PKR de facto leader’s appeal against his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence last Tuesday.

Nurul Izzah told the crowd of about 1,000 people that Anwar agreed to negotiate when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pressed for reconciliation after the 13th general election.

She said her father set conditions that there must be efforts to tackle corruption in the federal government and address economic issues among others, but the talks eventually broke down.

Nurul Izzah earlier said the reason her father had to be jailed was because he was the main challenge to BN leaders after he led PR to a bigger victory of 52% of the popular votes in GE13.

She said she and her siblings were proud to be Anwar’s children because they knew he at least was not corrupt, never abused power or oppressed the people, and he would stand and fight with the people.

She also described her father as a fighter who would never surrender to political intimidation.

Her mother, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, told the people about Anwar’s condition since he was jailed on Tuesday.

“I was very upset seeing him like that during our 45-minute visit. He tried to cheer us up, telling us he was all right.

“He is in a cell with no bed, just a one-inch thick mattress. There are no chairs and no tables. He did not complain but he suffers from back pain so it would be difficult for him.

“If possible, for his health, give him a bed. We are not asking for VIP treatment… he is a political prisoner. Because of politics, he suffers such disgrace. That saddens me,” she said.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who also spoke at the ceramah, extended support for Anwar and Dr Wan Azizah, and urge the people to help PR retain the Permatang Pauh federal seat when a by-election is called. Anwar will lose the seat in two weeks unless he gets a royal pardon.

He said PR still believed that Anwar was the future prime minister of Malaysia, and asked the people to be the “court that would give justice to Anwar”.

The Penang chief minister said BN and Umno were only trying to use other issues to divert the people’s attention from problems with the economy.

“If Anwar is still out here with us, he would surely be standing in the forefront to fight the implementation of the GST (goods and services tax),” he said.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu paid tribute to Anwar, describing him as a rare specimen due to his courage.

Anwar, he said, was known for his courage from his student leader days, to the years he rose to power as a minister, fell from grace and became the opposition leader.

“Despite the power he had enjoyed, he could still return and fight together with the people as a common citizen.

“He could have just left the country but he chose to stay and face the system and now he is in jail. It is rare to find such a man,” said the politician, who is better known as Mat Sabu.

The ceramah also heard leaders pay tribute to the late PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who died on Thursday night.

Lim said Nik Aziz’s spirit must be kept alive in PR’s struggles while Mat Sabu said the dead leader was well respected because he led by example and was always humble.

Mat Sabu said Nik Aziz was never famous for being a crowd puller but he was an ‘ulama’ (cleric) who practised what he preached.

“He was not famous for his knowledge either. He did not have a PhD like others but he was known for his virtue and the good examples he demonstrated.

“When he became the Kelantan menteri besar, he continued to live in his old house and led a humble life. This is what you do when you are in power.”

Although PR had lost both leaders, Mat Sabu vowed to make sure the opposition coalition would stay together and fight until they made it to Putrajaya.

PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin also announced the party’s “March to Freedom” postcards at the ceramah.

The public who want to send messages of encouragement to Anwar could write on the postcards and mail them to Sungai Buloh prison. – February 15, 2015.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Sunday, 15 February 2015 - 11:00 am

    AI should hv accepted d UmnoB/BN’s offer n all charges against him would hv disappeared (n ful of sai punished)
    AI would hv remained a free n powerful man, waiting 2 b d next peeM
    Rather than now, a 2-time disgraced infamous sodomite, locked-up in S Buluh

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