Anwar tells how jail prepared him for leadership role

PUTRAJAYA: PKR ‘s Anwar Ibrahim has shot back at those who say he is too old and no longer relevant as a leader.

The prime minister-in-waiting, now 71, said the 11 years he spent behind bars had made him a person who truly understood the people’s problems, especially those in the lower income group.

“There are cynical views that I am already old and no longer relevant to get back into government,” he said at a lecture event at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre tonight.

Anwar said that when he was in prison, he mixed a lot with people from the “other side of the track”, who made up almost 90% of the inmates.

“I have seen a very young person who was jailed just for stealing a pair of jeans and a foreigner who came to make a living here but was cheated and jailed,” he said.

On Wednesday, incumbent Port Dickson MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah announced he was vacating his seat to give way to Anwar in his bid to make a parliamentary comeback before taking over from Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.