Nurul Izzah honours Reformasi on anniversary of first Anwar arrest

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PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has renewed her pledge to the Reformasi movement on the day that marks the 19th anniversary of her father, Anwar Ibrahim’s dramatic arrest.

Nurul Izzah, who is Lembah Pantai MP, told FMT in a statement that the mere fact that Reformasi is still going strong having been adopted in today’s political agenda has made her father and her family’s sacrifices worthwhile.

“The tragic events that marked our lives, as well as the lives of many others on Sept 20, 1998, have given much justification to the need to check the abusive excesses of the executive, and ensure the primacy of the rule of law.

“These realisations gave birth to Reformasi, which has finally gained resonance and meaning, seen through the policies and pledges made by Pakatan Harapan (PH), including by political players who earlier negated the need for political reforms in this country,” she said.

She added that the one request she has for the people, is for them to carry on in the journey to save Malaysia.

“It is the democratic institutions in this country that will ensure the rakyat benefits.

“They are there to provide a working moral compass for the country’s leadership,” Nurul Izzah said.

In 1998, Anwar was sacked from his cabinet posts of finance minister and deputy prime minister, by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He was later put on trial for corruption and sodomy. He was convicted of both before having the sodomy verdict overturned in 2004, when Mahathir’s successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was in power.

But the offence he was arrested for on the evening of Sept 20, 1998, was not over the alleged sodomy or corruption. It was carried out under the now-abolished Internal Security Act (ISA).

Anwar was arrested at his home by police armed with assault rifles and tear gas.

It came after his supporters marched to the then official prime minister’s residence, Seri Perdana in Kuala Lumpur, demanding Mahathir resign.

The two former adversaries have now put aside their differences and have forged a new alliance under PH in an effort to take down the Barisan Nasional government.

Mahathir is chairman of the opposition coalition, while Anwar has been named as PH’s defacto leader. Nurul Izzah’s mother, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is PH president.