Nurul Izzah: I met Dr M on mission to save PH

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KUALA LUMPUR — Nurul Izzah Anwar has finally broken her silence over a meeting she had with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in London last year, at a time when Dr Mahathir was reportedly contemplating leaving Pakatan Harapan.

She has since been credited as being the person who managed to convince Dr Mahathir to stay on, amid tensions at the time over PH’s leadership line-up.

“I think my mission at the time, my purpose was to ensure the coalition remained intact, and to do so we needed to ensure there were compromises, and several degrees of engagement,” she told Malay Mail.

DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong recently revealed that Dr Mahathir wrote a letter last year to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and told him to take the party out of PH.

The letter was written just before Dr Mahathir left for London during the Hari Raya holidays.

Back then, PH parties could not agree on the leadership structure and its office bearers, which was necessary for the registration of the coalition with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

“I assured Tun Mahathir we could work together on a possible agreement, and that Malaysians were looking to us to unseat the Barisan Nasional government,” Nurul Izzah said.

“We needed to pull a huge rabbit out of the hat. It would require something completely outside of the box

“I told him I felt that a Tun Mahathir outside the coalition just wouldn’t work. The rest, as you say, is history.”

After the London meeting, PH agreed to name Dr Mahathir as its chairman, and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as president. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was made PH de facto leader.

On another note, Nurul Izzah described her father’s release as somewhat of a “bittersweet homecoming”, and since then, his schedule has been packed.

When he was not accompanying Dr Wan Azizah on official events, he was either meeting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or state rulers.

To top that, he also has several speaking engagements lined up in the next
few months.

“It’s been so busy and hectic, we do miss the quiet times we had as a family,” Nurul Izzah said.

“We are thankful that we managed to spend some precious moments with him, even before he was released, in between court appearances and visits (in prison).”

So, how does Anwar’s family manage to spend any time with him?

“My father always prioritises having sahur and iftar together, as a family,” Nurul Izzah, the Permatang Pauh MP, said.

“For sahur, my son will get up and say ‘where is Papatuk?’ and he will go and look for him.”

Anwar was released from jail last month after the King granted him a royal pardon.