KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says she has no qualms about being a “seat warmer” until her husband Anwar Ibrahim is released from jail.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera’s “UpFront”, Wan Azizah, who is also the opposition leader, said she would make way for Anwar once he was released from prison and able to return to politics.
“Because I think, frankly, he is a better leader. He is an administrator. He is the better guy for the job. Why not?” she said when asked why she had settled on being a “proxy” for Anwar, who is currently serving a five-year jail sentence for sodomy.
This was part of a video snippet posted earlier today on the programme’s Facebook page.
Is Malaysia's opposition leader up to the task of prime minister? Mehdi Hasan asks Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.Full episode: aje.io/falh
Posted by UpFront on Thursday, 11 May 2017
The full interview is scheduled to be shown on May 12 at 7.30pm GMT (3.30am May 13, Malaysian time).
Anwar was convicted in 2014 of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
He is expected to be released by 2020. The conviction disqualifies him from political office for five years from the day of his release.
Wan Azizah’s statement appears to contradict her stance in 2014, when she dismissed the notion that she was a seat warmer.
At the time, she had just been named as PKR’s candidate for the Kajang by-election after Anwar was disqualified due to his sodomy conviction.
“People can say anything they want, but this struggle is important. It is important to continue to fight the injustice,” she was quoted as saying.
Wan Azizah also stood in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency in the 1999, 2004 and 2008 general elections, a seat held by Anwar before he was jailed for corruption.
But a few months after the 2008 polls, she stepped down to make way for a by-election, which Anwar won.