A deserving tribute to Malaysia’s ‘first lady’: Wan Azizah

WHILE we celebrate the appointment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister (PM), let us not forget to pay a tribute to the country’s ‘first lady’ Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ibrahim. Her sacrifice as a wife, mother and leader deserves some mention and respect.

Wan Azizah served as a government doctor for 14 years before deciding to focus on doing voluntary services when Anwar was appointed Malaysia’s deputy prime minister in 1993.

But then when Anwar was sacked and jailed, she knew she could not sit back and watch the Reformasi movement initiated by Anwar left unattended without a key leader.

Wan Azizah decided to take over the helm to lead her Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which later formed the Barisan Alternative Front (BA) coalition, and subsequently, Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Rather than being a homemaker and watching more drama unfolded including the infamous Anwar’s black-eyed incident in jail, Wan Azizah remained calm and took part in four polls during the turbulent years. She won in all four elections, namely the 2008 General elections, 2014 Kajang By-Election, 2015 Permatang Pauh By-Election, 2018 General Election.

For many years, she had to endure much pain seeing her husband behind bars while she single-handedly raised her own six children.

I am sure many remember how she knocked on door-to-door in every home in her constituency to garner support for her party to win in her early elections. Poor “Kak Wan” as she was fondly known, had to carry her kids along to explain to the voters the imprisonment of her husband was politically motivated to end his career.

No matter how much Anwar suffered, she would not leave him alone. Her love for him and the family gave her the strength to move on and continue to fight for justice. Whether it was Sodomy 1 or 2, one thing is certain – they are now history.

Today, Kak Wan is probably the happiest wife seeing her husband Anwar finally takes the role as the Malaysia’s PM after a 24-year wait.

As the saying goes, behind every successful man is a woman. Behind Anwar it is Kak Wan. Thank you and may the All Mighty bless you and your family and all Malaysians. — Nov 25, 2022


Francis Yip is a fashionista and an award-winning writer and HRDF (Human Resource Development Fund) – accredited Trainer. He is also the CEO of Franciswriter Dot Com and guest lecturer in The One Academy

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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