KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia May 13 (NNN-Bernama) — Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has been appointed deputy prime minister-designate in the Pakatan Harapan-led government following the coalition’s victory in the 14th general election (GE14).
This was announced by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a press conference after a special meeting on the formation of the Cabinet at Wisma Yayasan Selangor, Petaling Jaya yesterday.
With the appointment, Dr Wan Azizah, 65, is the first female deputy prime minister in the country.
Her husband, Anwar Ibrahim was deputy prime minister from 1993 before his dismissal from the Cabinet in 1998.
Many have admired the demure mother of six, who had displayed her loyalty, grit and commitment despite the series of controversial issues surrounding her husband over the last 20 years.
Dr Wan Azizah who was forced into politics to seek justice for her husband was tasked with great responsibility to lead Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), a party she founded together with Anwar during the 1998 political crisis.
Although initially seen as a passive president, she rose to the occasion to become a source of strength not only to her husband and children, but also to party members and the reformation-driven generation.
Born on Dec 3, 1952, in Singapore, the good doctor received her early education at St Nicholas Convent School in Alor Star before furthering her studies at Tunku Kurshiah College in Seremban.
In 1973, she pursued medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland where she won the MacNaughton-Jones gold medal in obstetrics and gynaecology and graduated to become a qualified ophthalmologist.
On her return to Malaysia, she served as a doctor in the government sector before retiring in 1993 when her husband was appointed deputy prime minister.
After Anwar was dismissed from the Cabinet on Sept 2, 1998, Dr Wan Azizah helped establish the People’s Justice Party (now Parti Keadilan Rakyat) in 1999 and became its president until today.
Her political career took off when she contested for the first time in 1999 and won the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, formerly held by Anwar, after defeating Datuk Seri Ibrahim Saad of Barisan Nasional (BN), with a majority of 9,077 votes.
She retained the seat in the 2004 election after defeating Pirdaus Ismail of BN and won the seat for a third term in GE12 in 2008 after defeating the same candidate.
In July 2008, Dr Wan Azizah resigned as Permatang Pauh MP to make way for Anwar to contest in the by-election for the parliamentary seat.
In March 2014, Dr Wan Azizah was elected to replace her husband to contest for the Kajang state seat by-election where she defeated BN candidate Chew Mei Fun with a majority of 5,379 votes.
About a year later, Anwar was disqualified from holding the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat after losing his appeal at the Federal Court to set aside his conviction on a sodomy charge.
Dr Wan Azizah then contested in the Permatang Pauh by-election in May 2015 and defeated Suhaimi Sabudin (BN), Salleh Isahak (Independent) and Azman Shah Othman (PRM) in a four-cornered fight.
In GE14, Dr Wan Azizah made way for her daughter, Nurul Izzah, to contest in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat while she contested in the Pandan parliamentary seat where she won with a majority of 52,543 votes against four other candidates.–NNN-BERNAMA
Source: NAM News Network