The Making of Kak Wan As The Future DPM

Factions within PKR and Pakatan Harapan who confused her genteel mannerism with meek demeanor and inner belief had better reshuffle their deck of cards. Kak Wan is not merely the ace in spades of Anwar Ibrahim but the Malaysian dagger pointing at the retina of a corrupt regime.

By Mustaqim Abdullah

Kak Wan, better known as Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, not unlike most Malay professionals or housewives never wanted the attention, let alone the trappings and power, of any office.

Yet, as history showed, the ferocity of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, leading up to 1998, both of which were predicted by Nobel economist prize winner Paul Krugman incidentally, turned the whole region topsy turvy.

Almost over night, Kak Wan found her husband Anwar Ibrahim, dismissed from high political office, even then when Anwar was one who spoke of the need to undertake serious and structural economic reforms in Malaysia.

To make matters worse, the “Reformasi” movement pioneered by Anwar was considered a potent political threat to the regime of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad then, and Anwar was summarily turned into a political prisoner.

Of course, it is not without any dash of irony, that Dr Mahathir is now leading the very same movement, which Anwar had established, literally from the asphalt and ashen streets of Kuala Lumpur; a popular uprising that saw its eventual permeation in almost every rural constituency in Peninsular Malaysia, though less so in Sabah and Sarawak.

Still, under the seemingly genteel leadership of Kak Wan, what was originally mistaken by Tun Dr Mahathir, subsequently Tun Abdullah Badawi and now caretaker Prime Minister Najib Razak, as a simple “poke” has literally become a force where the people and netizens alike do not have to be tempted by “click baits” to follow her news.

Not bad for an opthalmologist, who once told Al Jazeera, that she didn’t mind “warming the seat for Anwar” to return as the future Prime Minister of Malaysia. Now this is where the plot thickens.

Before Anwar could be remade the future Prime Minister of Malaysia, the opposition coalition has to, in the interim, lean on the charisma and conviction of Tun Dr Mahathir——that under Najib, Malaysia has badly derailed—-to get the whole coach on track.

Analysts who have been fixated by the rivalry of Anwar and Mahathir in the past might find the whole arrangement unbelievable, almost a rearrangement of musical chairs, purely to allow Mahathir to steamroll past Najib, with Anwar to follow suit.

Some have even joked cynically that in five years time, Anwar would have to ask Najib for help to dislodge Mahathir. A tangled web indeed!

But bewildered critics failed to take into account the sheer dangers faced by Malaysia as a national entity. To begin with, national debts are up, while Najib has stood in total defiance of the many scandals that bear his patronage.

Be it 1MDB, or, Felda, for that matter Felcra or Permata, none of the government and economic transformations launched by Najib are firing on all cyclinders. None.

What Malaysians are told a complete opposite of how they feel at the end of each month: while Gross Domestic Product is deemed to be growing at a clip of 5.9 per cent, 92 per cent of fixed wage earners are getting less than USD 1500 a month.

Kak Wan understands their pain, having had to raise several children while Anwar was literally a pawn being shunted in and out of a incarceration as a “prisoner of conscience”.

Over the last twenty years, especially the last nine, Kak Wan herself has understood the stuggle of her husband, as had Nurul Izzah, the eldest daughter. How has the renewed consciousness dawned on the both of them ?

Anwar was right. If Malaysia was not governed by the rule of law, with the necessary checks and balances, Malaysia would go to the dogs.

Not surprisingly, grand larceny and heist of state assets have been the norm: with close to 350,000 hectares of land, that belong to Felda, leased for 99 years to FGV, even though the two need not correlate.

FGV is merely a company, in local Malaysian business parlance a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Yet when the proliferation of SPVs are there, not to grow the value of the land banks and fruit bunches, but to hive off the assets, then all Malaysians have to draw the line.

Contrary to what many may believe that Kak Wan is merely a pale reflection of Anwar, events in the lead up to the all important May 9th general election, has shown a female deputy Prime Minister in waiting who can crack the whip, and take charge.

When factions within the party are unable to resolve their differences, as is common during election season with all political parties, Kak Wan has come down hard on their petulant, almost, child-like manners.

In Kajang, watched by more than 5,000 Malaysians in the field, Kak Wan unleashed the list of the final candidates against the expectations of all that she could do them even by this Saturday, when nomination papers have to be filed.

That’s 5,000 in the field, but perhaps two hundred fifty times more in online, as Kak Wan has been known to have close to 1.250 million followers, one of the highest in the country after Anwar and Mahathir.

There are important lessons to be learned here: Kak Wan is no longer a daffodil amidst a pool of muck.

Nor is she trying to be the lotus or symbol of rebirth and regrowth in the struggle to “save Malaysia”. She is literally the iron lady, and the much dreaded gate and time keeper, who makes the PKR train run on time.

Factions within PKR and Pakatan Harapan who confused her genteel mannerism with meek demeanor and inner belief had better reshuffle their deck of cards. Kak Wan is not merely the ace in spades of Anwar Ibrahim but the Malaysian dagger pointing at the retina of a corrupt regime.

And, all signs are showing, Kak Wan ain’t blinking first. Najib be warned. Jho Low, and all the “Wolves of Putrajaya,” your days are numbered. And, the countdown to a super tsunami on May 9, where Kak Wan, together with the joint charisma of Anwar and Dr Mahathir, could upend the whole 2/3 prediction of Barisan National to end up with the supermajority instead.