KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today broke his silence on his eldest daughter’s shock resignation from all her party and government positions, saying she was fed up with the power play behind the scenes that has continued despite a regime change.
The PKR president noted the many calls for Nurul Izzah Anwar to retract her resignation as the party vice-president and its Penang chief, but asked everyone to respect her decision even as he agreed that it is a “great loss” to the party and nation.
“Nurul Izzah and I have discussed her intention to step down at length. It is not my place to divulge details, but I do know that with ‘the pace of political developments (having) been relentless for the last nine months,’ she is sick and tired of the deception and machinations of those who are far more interested in playing politics instead of focusing on helping the rakyat they purport to serve.
“For example, there is disillusionment by the recent jumping of Members of Parliament to save their political skins or worse still, to shore up power for nefarious ends,” Anwar said in a statement.
While making no mention of the nepotism claim against him by certain party insiders, Anwar emphasised that Nurul Izzah had won the PKR vice-presidency on her own strength and convinced the majority of Penang division chiefs of her ability to lead them at the state level.
“This is an indictment of certain individuals within the party leadership ranks whose deceptive platitudes place individual greed above party unity,” he added, without mentioning the critics by name.
Anwar debunked the view that his daughter had been rash in her decision, saying “I believe that it is completely in keeping with the character of someone who has always had the courage to stand up for her ideals and beliefs”.
He said the reformasi “spirit” has been burning in the 38-year-old Nurul for 20 years and has not dimmed despite the myriad challenges to her political career, adding that he is confident that she will continue serving the public “honourably and admirably”.
Nurul Izzah remains a PKR member and the Permatang Pauh MP.
In what seems a reminder to members of PKR and the Pakatan Harapan coalition, Anwar said their electoral victory over Barisan Nasional had been a watershed moment for many reasons.
But he also called for focus, saying “our victory in attaining greater democratic space will count for nothing if the agenda for reform is sabotaged”.