Malaysian opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail dismissed Al Jazeera’s statement that she made a deal with the devil (as in a deal with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad), saying politely the latter joined forces with the opposition instead.
The Al Jazeera reporter of INFRONT Mehdi Hassan, in a bold attempt to intimidate or impress the female opposition leader, asked Wan Azizah what she had to say to ‘some’ people who might say she had effectively done a deal with the devil.
Wan Azizah scoffed at the question, replying ‘Of course not.”
She went on to say that with Mahathir coming to them to join the opposition, it shows how bad Prime Minister Najib Razak is.
She said a change of regime in Malaysia was much desired by the people, thus it is not an alliance with the devil.
“If the man himself, Anwar Ibrahim, could forgive and to forgive is divine,” she said.
Hassan then pressed on with a question surrounding Anwar Ibrahim’s own call that the opposition should not be lead by Mahathir in its attempt to remove Najib from power as this will satisfy a few cronies of the former PM.
Al Jazeera asked whether Anwar and Wan Azizah were helping Mahathir to empower these same cronies mentioned by Anwar in this alliance against Najib?
Wan Azizah, showing her disagreement to the assertion made by Hassan, said the opposition did not ask Mahathir to join them, and that Mahathir joined the grouping in his own free will.
“The fact that he wants to change the current government which is seeded in a kleptocracy is because of the dire condition (the country is in),” said Wan Azizah.
Al Jazeera wanted to know if the Anwar family and Anwar himself were willing to work with Mahathir without a formal apology from the latter for his role in Anwar’s demotion as deputy Prime Minister in 1998 and his subsequent jailing.
“We have to go beyond that. If I have to wait for an apology and make a big deal out of that..The point is he has come, he has almost admitted and now he is with us,” said the opposition leader.
She went on to explain that whatever is done in Malaysia, the government holds the strings and this is how the country is run in response to accusations that Najib is still in power due to acute division among the opposition.
She said look at the states the opposition controls, and these are vivid examples of how the opposition intends to run the country.
Selangor is an example and Penang is also doing well, and these are examples how the opposition intends to showcase to the voters in telling the opposition has the experience to run the country, but it has no experience in ‘corruption’.
She focused on the lack of printed press and audio-visual press freedom in Malaysia, which adds to the difficulty of the opposition to capture the minds of the voters.
On the PAS she said they left the opposition, and during the time they were in the Pakatan Rakyat, they never expressed the need for hudud.
On whether she would want to have the PAS back with the Pakatan Harapan – the new opposition coalition – she said the party has split and the new party Parti Amanah Negara is with the opposition.
On her watch as PM of Malaysia (since she is the one to lead the opposition in the elections), she said the hudud will not be implemented – not in the near future.
She confirmed that she will be an interim PM and that after an opposition victory Anwar Ibrahim will be freed from jail and be promoted as PM after he wins a by-election.
“If you see the polls that say Anwar is the man to be PM, then I don’t mind being an interim PM,” she said.
Watch the interview here: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2017/05/malaysia-opposition-win-170512090851405.html