BUTTERWORTH: He was merely tagging along as Deputy Prime Minister’s husband when he got on board a Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The PKR leader told a crowd at the Pidato Perdana DSAI event in Seberang Jaya here on Friday night that the trip “was a reversal of role 20 years ago”.
“For my trip to meet Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V in Kota Baru, the aircraft was for Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and not me. I only tagged along as the husband.
“These days, I follow the Deputy Prime Minister as I am the husband,” he said.
Anwar, who was the deputy prime minister from 1993 to 1998, said in jest that “she (Dr Wan Azizah) asked me why am I complaining as she never complained when she followed me”.
It was a sweet homecoming for Anwar to Permatang Pauh after his release from prison last week.
This time, he took a Firefly commercial jet.
Anwar first became Permatang Pauh MP in 1982. He held on to the seat until Dr Wan Azizah took over in 1999 when he was jailed.
The seat has been in the family since, alternating between the husband and wife.
At GE14, their daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar won the seat.
Taking to the stage at about 11.30pm, Anwar also took the opportunity to respond to criticisms on social media about his trip to Johor on a personal jet.
“Some criticised that I travelled on a personal jet even though I do not hold any post, which is true.
“However, it’s not a chartered one. The plane belongs to the Sultan of Johor and I can also take any of you if you are interested,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Anwar said the Sultan of Johor told him that he could use the jet to visit him and back.
Meanwhile, on his Facebook, Anwar uploaded photos of him in a blue baju melayu going through airport security, walking towards the aircraft and sitting in the commercial plane’s cabin.
“This morning I took a normal commercial aircraft to Penang. Not (an) official jet. This is the difference between official duties accompanying the Deputy Prime Minister and personal duties,” he wrote on his Facebook.