There’s no reason to replace Anwar Ibrahim as the opposition’s figurehead just because he’s old, says his daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar.
“There are some who say that Anwar is old and that it is time for new leaders.
“But in the US, 74-year-old Bernie Sanders is fighting against the disparity between the poor and the rich.
Sanders is the US Democrat who is currently competing with Hillary Clinton to see who will run for president on behalf of their party.
“If he can do it, why are we giving in to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s whims?” Nurul Izzah asked at an event outside the Sungai Buloh Prison to mark the first anniversary of Anwar’s jailing.
Anwar, who turns 68 this year, has been the face of the opposition since 1998, when the Reformasi movement began.
Critics have said that PKR needs to move out of his shadow if it wants to be a successful party.
Anwar is currently serving five years in jail for sodomy. His imprisonment also means he cannot contest in in an election for five years after his release from prison.
This means Anwar will 77 years old by the time he can re-enter the political arena.
Nurul Izzah (photo), a PKR vice-president and the MP for Lembah Pantai, said that while her father can still lead the opposition to victory, the people must do their part, too.
“So, ladies and gentlemen, my dear friends, start acting like winners, keep working hard.
“Show that this country belongs to us, and not just to the prime minister,” she said.
Some 1,000 people attended the commemorative event that began last night and featured speeches from more than 20 PKR, Amanah and DAP politicians.
It kicked off at 8pm and lasted till midnight, ending with prayers for Anwar to be released sooner than his five-year jail term.
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli expressed confidence that this could be done in a year.
“God willing, in the next six months or one year, we will welcome Anwar as our rightful prime minister.
“From Sungai Buloh, we will go to Putrajaya,” Rafizi said. – Malaysiakini