PETALING JAYA: Social media was seemingly set alight after Nurul Izzah Anwar’s comments in a newspaper interview on Sunday, in which she described Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a former dictator.
PKR’s deputy president, Azmin Ali, appeared to take a swipe at Nurul Izzah with a Tweet that said Malaysia needed doers who were prepared to “tough it out all the way” and not “cry babies”.
His remarks appeared to be a reference to Nurul Izzah saying her current term as MP would be the last.
“Whatever it takes, we must make it work. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” Azmin said.
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, a central leadership council member, took issue with the term “cry baby” in Azmin’s posting.
“When a lady makes a stand, call her a crybaby? Cheap, very cheap,” Nik Nazmi said in response.
Nurul Izzah had said that she was heartbroken by political events after Pakatan Harapan took power and that the past year had been “turbulent and tumultuous”.
Another party colleague and former MP, N Surendran, questioned “the timing, platform and manner” in which Nurul Izzah had made her remarks, which he said was “all wrong”.
However, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, a former aide to Nurul Izzah, gave a ‘like’ to a tweet by PPBM Youth head Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who defended Mahathir.
Syed Saddiq praised Mahathir as a workaholic who listened to everyone’s views. “He always puts Malaysia first, even if it means sacrificing himself,” said Syed Saddiq, who is youth minister in Mahathir’s cabinet.
Among those who came to Nurul Izzah’s defence was a PKR Youth leader who said her comments should be accepted by all with an open mind.
“She and her family went through very trying times and it should serve as a lesson to all,” said the wing’s deputy head, Syed Fadli Shah Syed Osman, in a statement on Facebook.
He held up Nurul Izzah as a person of integrity “unlike some leaders who were prepared to compromise on principles for power and position”.
Nurul Izzah, daughter of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, had said it was not easy having to work with Mahathir as a former dictator who had “wreaked so much damage, not just on our lives but the system”.
Anwar was jailed during Mahathir’s first stint as the prime minister for alleged corrupt practices.