Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Dr
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
وان عزيزه
12th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Assumed office
21 May 2018
Monarch Muhammad V
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Preceded by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Constituency Pandan
Minister of Women, Family and Community Development
Assumed office
21 May 2018
Monarch Muhammad V
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Deputy Hannah Yeoh
Preceded by Rohani Abdul Karim
(Minister of Women, Family and Community Development)
Constituency Pandan
President of the Pakatan Harapan
Assumed office
14 July 2017
Leader Anwar Ibrahim
Preceded by Position established
9th Leader of the Opposition
In office
18 May 2015  10 May 2018
Monarch Abdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime Minister Najib Razak
Preceded by Anwar Ibrahim
Succeeded by Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
In office
9 March 2008  28 August 2008
Monarch Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Preceded by Lim Kit Siang
Succeeded by Anwar Ibrahim
President of the People's Justice Party
In office
4 April 1999  4 August 2018
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Anwar Ibrahim
Leader of the Pakatan Rakyat
In office
1 April 2008  28 August 2008
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Anwar Ibrahim
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Pandan
Assumed office
10 May 2018
Preceded by Rafizi Ramli (PKR)
Majority 52,543 (2018)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Permatang Pauh
In office
7 May 2015  9 May 2018
Preceded by Anwar Ibrahim (PKR)
Succeeded by Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH-PKR)
Majority 8,841 (2015)
In office
29 November 1999  28 August 2008
Preceded by Anwar Ibrahim (PKR)
Succeeded by Anwar Ibrahim (PKR)
Majority 9,077 (1999)
590 (2004)
13,388 (2008)
Member of the Selangor State Assembly
for Kajang
In office
7 April 2014  10 May 2018
Preceded by Lee Chin Cheh (PKR)
Succeeded by Hee Loy Sian (PH-PKR)
Majority 5,379 (2014)
Spouse of the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In office
1 December 1993  2 September 1998
Monarch Azlan Shah
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Deputy Anwar Ibrahim
Preceded by Dayang Heryati Abdul Rahim
Succeeded by Endon Mahmood
Personal details
Born Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismail
(1952-12-03) 3 December 1952
Kampong Glam, Singapore
Political party PKR
Spouse(s) Anwar Ibrahim
Children Nurul Izzah
Nurul Nuha
Nurul Hana
Nurul Iman
Nurul Ilham
Alma mater Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Dato' Seri Dr Wan Azizah binti Dr Wan Ismail (Jawi: وان عزيزه بنت وان اسماعيل; born 3 December 1952) is a Malaysian politician serving as the first female Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Minister of Women and Family Development.[1] She is the Member of Parliament for Pandan since 12 May 2018, after the Cabinet list has been announced by the newly appointed Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. She is the first woman to hold the position in Malaysia. Currently, she is also the President of the Pakatan Harapan coalition[2] as well as the President of the People's Justice Party (Malay:Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and previously was elected Selangor State Legislative Assembly member for Kajang until May 2018.

Wan Azizah was previously also elected as the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh from 1999 to 2008 and was the Leader of Opposition in Dewan Rakyat from March 2008 until 31 July 2008, and later from May 2015 to May 2018, before she vacated both positions to expedite her husband Anwar Ibrahim's return to political office.

Early life

Wan Azizah was born in 1952 in Singapore.[3] She has a Peranakan Chinese grandfather and was raised Malay Muslim.[4]

She received her early education in St. Nicholas Convent School, Alor Setar and continued her education at Tunku Kurshiah College[5] in Seremban. She went on to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where she was awarded a gold medal in obstetrics and gynaecology[6] and she later graduated as a qualified ophthalmologist.

Wan Azizah served as a government doctor for 14 years before deciding to focus on volunteering work, when her husband, Anwar Ibrahim was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia in 1993. As part of her voluntary pursuits, she became a patron of MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional or National Cancer Council) in that period [7][8] and became the second woman to lead a political party in Malaysia's history (Ganga Nayar founded and became the first president of the Malaysian Workers' Party in 1978 [9]).

Political career

Party founder

Following the dismissal and arrest of her husband on 20 September 1998, Wan Azizah became leader of the fledgling Reformasi movement. She first led the Social Justice Movement (ADIL), a civil rights NGO, before helping to establish the Parti Keadilan Nasional on 4 April 1999. The establishment of the party saw Wan Azizah elected as the first party president.[10]

On 3 August 2003, Wan Azizah brought the party into a merger with the older Malaysian People's Party (or Parti Rakyat Malaysia) which saw the establishment of the People's Justice Party and was elected as the president of the newly merged party.

Member of Parliament

In the first elections competed by the party in 1999, Wan Azizah led the party to win five seats in the Parliament and was herself elected as the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh; the seat formerly held by Anwar Ibrahim; with a majority of 9,077 votes. She successfully retained the seat in the 2004 elections, after five recounts, with a reduced majority.[11]

As a political party leader and also a parliamentary representative, Wan Azizah has spoken at UN-sponsored programs, and the local and international media. She is also the Vice-Chair of the Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus for Democracy in Myanmar and a member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus.[12]

March 2008 general elections

Wan Azizah won her parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh in the 12th Malaysian general election with a majority of 13,388.[13] She was supported by all the component parties of Pakatan Rakyat to lead the opposition in the lower house of parliament, House of Representatives.

With the public announcement by Anwar Ibrahim regarding his intention to return to active politics despite being legally barred from doing so,[14] Wan Azizah indicated her readiness to vacate the position of party president if he was elected.[15] Nonetheless, she has also indicated that she intends to defend her parliamentary seat for Permatang Pauh.[16] She resigned her parliamentary seat for Permatang Pauh on 31 July 2008, to make way for her husband, who won the subsequent by-election on 26 August 2008 with a large majority.

Honorary title

Wan Azizah was honoured on the occasion of the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (State Governor) of Penang on 12 July 2008 when she was awarded the Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri (Order of the Defender of the State), a chivalric order of the second rank in the state. The award carries the title Datuk Seri.[17][18]

2014 Kajang by-election

On 9 March 2014, PKR announced Wan Azizah as its new candidate for the Kajang by-election.[19] This was following Anwar Ibrahim's sentencing to five years in prison after Malaysia's court of appeal overturned his sodomy acquittal, causing Anwar to be unable to run in the by-election.[20]

On 23 March 2014, Wan Azizah was elected as the Selangor state legislative assembly member for Kajang.[21]

2015 Permatang Pauh by-election

A by-election was held for the Dewan Rakyat seat of Permatang Pauh on 7 May 2015,[22] after Wan Azizah's husband Anwar Ibrahim was disqualified from holding the seat after being found guilty of sodomy in a controversial trial.[23] Wan Azizah contested the seat against three other candidates,[24] retaining it for PR with a majority of 8,841 votes.[25]

2018 General election

On 7 January 2018, the opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan announced Mahathir Mohamad as their candidate for Prime Minister in the 2018 election, with Wan Azizah as Deputy.[26] It was announced as part of a deal for Mahathir to serve as interim if elected, seeking a pardon for Anwar and making way for him to take over.[27] Others have speculated, however, that it would be Wan Azizah who would make way for her husband.[28]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1999 Permatang Pauh Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (KeADILan) 23,820 61.77% Ibrahim Saad (UMNO) 14,743 38.23% 39,210 9,077 78.95%
2004 Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR) 21,737 50.47% Pirdaus Ismail (UMNO) 21,147 49.1% 43,734 590 80.93%
2008 Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR) 30,338 64.1% Pirdaus Ismail (UMNO) 16,950 35.81% 47,442 13,388 81.17%
2015 Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR) 30,316 57.09% Suhaimi Sabudin (UMNO) 21,475 40.44% 53,102 8,841 74.53%
2018 Pandan Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR) 64,733 75.47% Leong Kok Wee (MCA) 12,190 14.21% 85,774 52,543 84.66%
Mohamed Sukri Omar (PAS) 8,335 9.72%
Jenice Lee Ying Ha (PRM) 442 0.52%
Wan Muhd Azri Wan Deris (IND) 73 0.09%
Selangor State Legislative Assembly
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2014 Kajang Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR) 16,741 59.6% Chew Mei Fun (MCA) 11,362 40.4% 28,314 5,379 72%

See also


  1. "Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad appointed education minister in new cabinet".
  2. "Mahathir named chairman, Anwar named de facto leader of Pakatan Harapan".
  3. Habibu, Sira; Rahim, Rahimy (3 September 2014). "Party lists PKR president and deputy for Selangor MB post". The Star. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  4. Healy, Tim; Oorjitham, Santha (30 November 2000). "Readying for Elections?". Asiaweek. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  5. P Ramakrishnan (8 May 1999). "In Desperate Straits". Aliran.com.
  6. Bissme S. (14 May 2017). "Wan Azizah – a pillar of strength". The Sun Daily.
  7. Parti Keadilan Rakyat: Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
  8. Asiaweek : A Woman of Grace
  9. Bernama Library & Infolink Service: Ganga Nayar Profile
  10. Parti Keadilan Rakyat: Background & History Archived 24 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Malaysian General Election 2004 : Results for Permatang Pauh
  12. ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus
  13. Malaysian General Election 2008 : Results for Permatang Pauh Archived 19 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Radio Australia: MALAYSIA: Anwar Ibrahim to make political comeback
  15. Daily Express: Wan Azizah agrees to make way for Anwar
  16. Malaysiakini : She's ready to make way for hubby
  17. "CJ and Dr Wan Azizah top Penang awards list". The Star. Star Publications (M) Bhd. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2008.
  18. "Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri". Penang State Government Portal. Government of the State of Penang, Malaysia. Retrieved 12 July 2008.
  19. Wan Azizah to replace Anwar in Kajang
  20. "Anwar Ibrahim sentenced to five years' prison after Malaysia's court of appeal overturns sodomy acquittal". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 March 2014.
  21. Eileen Ng (23 March 2014). "Barisan claims to regain Chinese support despite losing Kajang by-election". The Malaysian Insider.
  22. "Four cornered fight in Permatang Pauh by-election". The Star (Malaysia). 25 April 2015.
  23. "Anwar no longer Permatang Pauh MP". The Malaysian Insider. 1 April 2015.
  24. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/election-commission-expects-permatang-pauh-by-election-results-by-9pm-polli
  25. "Official: PKR retains Pmtg Pauh, smaller majority". Malaysiakini. 7 May 2015.
  26. "Mahathir Mohamad: Ex-Malaysia PM, 92, to run for office". BBC. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  27. Kee Beng, Ooi (8 January 2018). "Commentary: Why the opposition has a shot at toppling the Barisan Nasional with Mahathir at the helm". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  28. Kamarudin, Raja Petra (9 January 2018). "RPK asks: Is Dr Mahathir the interim PM or is Wan Azizah the interim DPM?". New Straits Times. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Position established
President of the People's Justice Party
Leader of the People's Pact
Succeeded by
Anwar Ibrahim
Parliament of Malaysia
Preceded by
Anwar Ibrahim
Member of the Dewan Rakyat
for Permatang Pauh

Succeeded by
Anwar Ibrahim
Member of the Dewan Rakyat
for Permatang Pauh

Political offices
Preceded by
Lim Kit Siang
Leader of the Opposition
2008, 2015–2018
Succeeded by
Anwar Ibrahim
Preceded by
Anwar Ibrahim
Succeeded by
Najib Razak
Preceded by
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
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