MALAYSIAN social media users are largely impressed by how PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar answered a question on forgiving former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for sacking her father almost 20 years ago.
CIMB chairman Nazir Razak, who is also the younger brother of Prime Minister Najib Razak, had asked Izzah the question at the World Economic Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, yesterday, when she spoke of her political evolution.
Many praised the Lembah Pantai MP after she said it was most difficult to meet Dr Mahathir for the first time in so many years, but added that she was willing to put aside her personal grief and anger for the sake of the country.
Mohammad Tazli Azizan, Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainudin and Dylan Raman all said Izzah was prime minister material.
“I don’t mind if she’s to be our prime minister soon,” Tazli commented at a time when the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan has yet to name its candidate for prime minister.
Dylan wrote: “First female Prime Minister to be in the near future. Work ethics, honesty, integrity. smart and likeable.”
Facebook user DrAidiahmad Ppsf said Izzah showed maturity and wisdom at a young age with her answer to Nazir.
“Lesson learned. Be objective in your life, surely your emotion will be the guide, not the drive.”
Lee Siew Hwa also praised Izzah’s attitude in facing the challenge of having to work with a man long been regarded as the enemy.
“Her words (are) like boddhisatva. She and her mum have such clean soul and mind,” the Facebook user said, referring to Izzah’s mother, PKR president and opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Meanwhile, Alfred Lim commented: “Forgive is easiest to do BUT forget?”
Another Facebook user Bryan Seow asked if Nazir could easily forgive his brother for how he had treated Malaysians.
When Nazir asked if it was easy to forgive Dr Mahathir, Izzah said she welcomed everybody to be part of the reform agenda as long as they were clear that there was no justification for any sort of dictatorship or autocracy.
She said in the pursuit of justice with objectivity and compassion, even the most autocratic of autocrats can change.
She said Dr Mahathir was her “least-liked dictator” but she was polite to him as she was raised to be civil.
She said she even spent Valentine’s Day with him and his wife after inviting them to a fundraiser.
Dr Mahathir is now working with PKR and other opposition parties to oust Najib from office. He now leads Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), a member of PH.
Izzah’s father, Anwar Ibrahim, was Dr Mahathir’s deputy prime minister. Dr Mahathir fired him in 1998 amid accusations of abuse of power and sodomy. Anwar is now serving a five-year jail sentence following his second sodomy conviction.