PETALING JAYA: The tsunami of May 9 was as significant to Malaysia as the fall of the Berlin Wall for Europe, said Permatang Pauh MP Nuzul Izzah Anwar (pic).
"The road ahead is still a long one and we will have to put in a lot of hard work collectively to undo six decades of corruption and tyranny," she said of Malaysia's future under the new Pakatan Harapan government.
She added in a column on The Guardian on Tuesday (May 15) that with the old regime out, "never again must the people be afraid of the government."
On how Pakatan could join forces with Tun Dr Mahathir, the man who sacked her father and saw him arrested in 1998, Nurul Izzah said they shared a common goal to save the nation from sinking.
"Prime Minister Dr Mahathir now has a rare second chance to put things right," she said.
Nurul Izzah went on to express her hope for a strong, vibrant democracy where human rights are upheld with zero tolerance towards corruption.
"We need to focus on reforming education and healthcare and ensuring that we build an open, vibrant, multicultural, tolerant society where truth, justice, human rights and the rule of law are upheld for all," she said.
"We want a government founded on principles and policies, not personalities," added Nurul.
Speaking of the arrest of her father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah said that she was only 18 when she saw him sacked from his position as the Deputy Prime Minister and jailed in 1998.
"He was kidnapped from our family home by security forces, held incommunicado for nine days and beaten unconscious on the night of his arrest by the then Inspector-General of Police," Nurul Izzah said.
Nurul Izzah said over the past three decades under the Barisan Nasional government, Malaysia’s human rights record has worsened with crackdowns on Malaysian rights activists, cartoonists, journalists and opposition politicians becoming rife.
"My own father was sacked for his anti-corruption and reformist stand in 1998 and incarcerated on trumped-up charges following an extremely flawed trial, not once but twice – and has collectively spent 11 years of his life as a political prisoner," she added.
Witnessing the events unfold before her teenage eyes, she said she joined the Reformasi movement to fight against abuse and tyranny in the country.
"However, the true victims of this turbulence have been the people of Malaysia," she said, describing the rising cost of living, lack of employment, racial and religious tensions, and the mass migration abroad that ensued.
In the sobering article, Nurul said it is like Malaysian's Berlin Wall finally came down when the people of Malaysia delivered a "political tsunami" on May 9 to vote Barisan out of Federal power.