Current Opposition leader and wife of Anwar Ibrahim says the past year without him has gone in a "frenzy" and that she misses him "being there."

PETALING JAYA: One year since being imprisoned on a charge of sodomy, the charisma and very presence of former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is being felt by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is hoping against hope he will be released ealier.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, Wan Azizah poured her heart out about her husband and said, “We miss his charisma, we miss his presence, we miss him being there.”

Serving a five-year sentence for sodomy, Anwar will be in his 70s when he is released. Even so re-entering politics will be next to impossible as he cannot run for office for another five years.

Despite a daunting future, Anwar is still very much seen as the “glue” that held the Opposition parties intact as his incarceration quickly saw the crumbling and eventual demise of Pakatan Rakyat after PAS and DAP clashed fiercely over hudud.

The re-birth of a new coalition called Pakatan Harapan minus PAS, is still “finding its feet and voice”, Channel News Asia said.

“Of course he feels the frustration that had he been out this wouldn’t have happened, but he is also a religious man, he’s resigned to the fact that providence plays its part,” Wan Azizah said.

As the new Opposition leader, Wan Azizah has made it her mission to keep the memory of Anwar alive and remind his supporters of the many sacrifices he made for the nation.

Despite trying to fill his shoes, analysts say Pakatan Harapan has failed to capitalise on the many scandals Umno-Barisan Nasional has weathered this past year, mainly the RM2.6 billion donation Prime Minister Najib Razak received in his private bank accounts and his subsequent clearing of all wrongdoing by Attorney-General Apandi Ali early this year.

Ibrahim Suffian, director of Merdeka Centre, told the news portal, “This is where Anwar’s absence is most felt.”

Ibrahim also said Anwar was a “dynamic force” in local politics despite many believing he no longer could effect change even if he wanted.

He added, “But Anwar has been a person who has always made the news. People are following him and he’s always had that charismatic edge, galvanising public opinion on the issues that matter.”

For Wan Azizah, Anwar’s wife of 36 years, she only wants her husband released from prison, regardless if he can rejoin politics or not.


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