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Reluctantly Thrust into Politics, Here’s The Inspiring Story of M’sia’s FIRST Female DPM

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Before the 10th of May, the name Dr Wan Azizah was synonymous to the wife of PKR interim leader Anwar Ibrahim. Those who are close to her know her best as Kak Wan. But today, she’s known throughout Malaysia and the rest of the world as the FIRST Female Deputy Prime Minister in Malaysian history.

This is one for the history books and a major step forward for the voice of women in Malaysian politics. But did you know that her political career wasn’t one that she chose? Reluctantly thrust into the political limelight when her husband Anwar Ibrahim was fired from his position as Deputy Prime Minister, here’s the story of how a dutiful wife became Malaysia’s first female Deputy Prime Minister.

 

Her background

Thrust into Politics Reluctantly, Here's The Inspiring Story of M'sia's FIRST Female DPM - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Source: Malay Mail

Born in Singapore in 1952, Dr Wan Azizah received her early education in Alor Setar before going on to Seremban to attend the Tunk Kurshiah College in Seremban. She later went on to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and graduated as a qualified ophthalmologist. Dr Wan Azizah served a medical career as a government doctor for 14 years before choosing to focus on volunteer work when her husband was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister in 1993.

 

Her political career

Never in all her years did Dr Wan Azizah imagine she would be a politician, let alone the Deputy Prime Minister! Her political career kickstarted when Anwar was arrested and sentenced to jail in 1998. Like the dutiful wife she is, Dr Wan Azizah did everything in her power to help her husband. Wife goals lah this one!

“I am the wife of a politician. I am not a politician. But what happened, the tragedy that happened to our family gave us all the potential to be together in this fight,” she said in her keynote address at the “Three-cornered fights: A win for Pakatan Harapan” forum in 2017.

Thrust into Politics Reluctantly, Here's The Inspiring Story of M'sia's FIRST Female DPM - WORLD OF BUZZ 1

Source: mstar

Leading the Social Justice Movement (ADIL) – a civil rights NGO – in 1999, she went on to establish the Parti Keadilan Nasional (now known as PKR) in the same year and was elected as president of the party (keep in mind she was raising six kids at the time too!). Since then, she has been involved in the Malaysian political scene for 20 years.

Dr Wan Azizah held the Permatang Pauh MP post from 1998 to 2008 and stepped down in the latter year to make way for Anwar, who had won the subsequent by-elections. She made a comeback to the position, however, in 2014 following Anwar’s five-year jail sentence and was elected as the Selangor state legislative assembly member for Kajang. Following that in 2015, she retained the Dewan Rakyat seat in Permatang Pauh for PKR.

In the recent GE14, Wan Azizah was contesting as a parliamentary candidate in Pandan, where she was challenged by Barisan Nasional’s Leong Kok Wee, PAS candidate Mohamed Sukri Omar, former Teratai assemblywoman Jenice Lee of Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) and independent candidate Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz.

Wan Azizah won the seat with 64,733 votes and a 61% landslide majority.

 

What’s next?

Dr Wan Azizah is the current president of PKR, an MP, a state assemblywoman in Selangor for a seat Anwar was meant to contest before being convicted and – as of 10th May – Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, Dr Wan Azizah reveals what the future holds for her political career and the future of Malaysia.

“I feel and believe corruption is a cancer, dangerous and pervasive, and you need a surgeon’s touch. I happen to be a woman and I happen to be a surgeon, I think that helps very much,” she said.

She has repeatedly mentioned that following his release, she will make way for her husband Anwar to contest for MP in her constituency in order for him to run as prime minister. Even though many have questioned her repeated decisions to make way for Anwar, she is faithful to her husband and says that someone will have to do it as he is the opposition’s pick for the position of prime minister following his release.

Thrust into Politics Reluctantly, Here's The Inspiring Story of M'sia's FIRST Female DPM - WORLD OF BUZZ 6

Source: The Star

When asked if her career in politics will continue, Dr Wan Azizah only had this to say:

“If my services are needed, of course I’ll continue. After all, I’ve been doing it for the past two decades.”

What a woman! Congratulations one again Dr Wan Azizah and we look forward to a better future and a new era of women in the Malaysian political scene.

Also read: Agong to Pardon Anwar Ibrahim Immediately!

Agong to Pardon Anwar Ibrahim Immediately! - WORLD OF BUZZ

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