PKR Youth chief: Anwar like Macron, must continue as PM-designate

By Zurairi AR
PKR youth wing chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad delivering his speech during the PKR Youth and Wanita Congress at Dewan Sivik MBPJ, May 20, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SHAH ALAM, May 20 ― Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's struggle against an established political foe is akin to French's newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron, PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad claimed today.

Nik Nazmi said PKR Youth will still propose Anwar as the Opposition's prime minister candidate in the next general elections, even as the veteran politician continues to languish behind bars.

“What Anwar is doing, is similar to the success story of Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron, the new French president that won in the country's presidential election recently.

“His party is new, a young man, his foe was more experienced and was expected to win,” Nik Nazmi said in his keynote address for the wing's congress, referring to Macron.

Nik Nazmi said Anwar has succeeded in building a mass movement with “big tent politics” that cuts across ideologies, in addition to his unparalleled public communication skills.

Anwar also has a proven track record as a finance minister, and his involvement in the rise of moderate Islam, the Seri Setia state assemblyman said.

In his speech, Nik Nazmi also paid tribute to Macron's victory against hardline right-winger Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, as a counter towards the cynicism against democracy.

The 39-year-old centrist defeated National Front president Le Pen on May 7 to become the country’s youngest president ever.

Macron has since nominated half of the candidates for his Republic on the Move party for June legislative elections from the civil society.

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s conviction of Anwar for sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

The conviction meant Anwar, 69, was disqualified as MP and will be barred from contesting in an election for five years after his release.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and also former Permatang Pauh MP who previously spent six years in prison between 1999 and 2004, is currently serving the five-year jail term.