Anwar: Living with strong women tough but helped me survive prison

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a symposium in Bangsar South February 20, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim gave attendees of a symposium tonight a glimpse into his private life as the husband of the deputy prime minister and the father to a federal lawmaker.

Anwar described his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar as strong women who did not always share his views.

However, he said the differences of opinions ultimately brought them closer as a family and strengthened his own resolve.

“It’s not easy for a father to have a wife as a boss and a daughter with strong views, but that is also my strength.

“If you ask me how it is I could endure years of abuse and hardship, the years I had to suffer in solitary confinement in prison; it is because I have a very dedicated and loyal wife and kids who have been there for me.

“I would not have any doubt about their commitment to their support for what I do, so their support is the strength for me personally,” he said.

On Nurul Izzah’s decision to leave politics after her current term as the Permatang Pauh MP expires, Anwar said he tried unsuccessfully to change her mind but has accepted that this was what she wanted.

Nurul Izzah announced her decision after quitting all her party and government posts in response to complaints of nepotism against PKR and her family.

Anwar said he still hoped she would reconsider but said his daughter has told him that she wanted to concentrate on serving her constituents for now.

“With Nurul Izzah, you don’t dictate. They are astute, they are smart, and they make their own decisions,” he said.

“I tried to talk to her, persuade her (to return), but you know, I respect the independence of my children who decide for themselves, and her decision was to stay away from the political elite.”

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