Nurul Nuha Anwar says Dr Mahathir must apologise


PETALING JAYA: Reconciliation in politics may make for strange bedfellows, but it is purely family ties that sees Nurul Nuha Anwar speak up to demand a public apology from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Nurul Nuha, 32, said that Mahathir should own up for his accusations and other actions that led to her father’s arrest and conviction for sodomy and corruption in 1998, Malay Mail Online (MMO) reported.

“As a daughter who has witnessed the countless torments my father went through the past 18 years, my personal wish would be for Dr M to publicly apologise and admit the trumped up charges.

“I think that would alleviate some of the hardships we went through as a family. It’s not supposed to get easier, but you just need to get stronger,” Nurul Nuha was quoted as saying by the news portal.

She even suggested that an apology from Mahathir for his past transgressions against his former deputy is a prerequisite before any alliance is formed between Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and PKR.

Her comments follow the historic meeting between the two former adversaries in court on Sept 5, where they shook hands and spoke for a few minutes.

Mahathir made an appearance in court to support Anwar’s filing of an interim injunction at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, to stop the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 from being enforced.

There have been no further comments from both political camps if the move would lead to a reconciliation.

Anwar, who was Mahathir’s deputy and heir apparent to succeed as prime minister, was unceremoniously removed from the government and as Umno deputy president in 1998 for alleged abuse of power.

Many of Anwar’s supporters blame Mahathir for being behind the incarceration of the former.

“I echo my father’s sentiment, forgive but we don’t forget,” Nurul Nuha told MMO, adding, however, that she and her siblings would respect their father’s decision, no matter what it may be, should he consent to a collaboration with PPBM.

“As I said, for me, Dr Mahathir coming to court is a clear gesture admitting his guilt in the conspiracy and it’s a good start.

“However, we will stand behind our father with the decision he makes,” Nurul Nuha was quoted as saying by MMO.

Nurul Nuha was touted as a possible candidate for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat following her father’s conviction for sodomy for a second time in February last year.

Nurul Nuha took centrestage in the following month leading the “March to Freedom” campaign for his release.

“Papa is detained because he speaks the truth and he fights against the regime… his message is clear. We will fight until we have a better country,” she had told the crowd in George Town, Penang at the time.

Nurul Nuha has since dropped out of the political scene. She is married and has a degree in arts and visual technology from George Mason University, United States.