Nurul Izzah Anwar
Nurul Izzah Anwar
|Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Lembah Pantai
8 March 2008
|Preceded by||Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil|
|Vice President of People's Justice Party|
28 November 2010
|Born||19 November 1980|
|Political party||PKR - Pakatan Rakyat|
|Spouse(s)||Raja Ahmad Shahrir|
|Relations||daughter of Anwar Ibrahim & Wan Azizah Wan Ismail|
|Children||Raja Nur Safiyah
|Alma mater||Universiti Tenaga Nasional
Johns Hopkins University
Nurul Izzah binti Anwar (born November 19, 1980) is a Malaysian politician from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), and is the current Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai. She is the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and the current de facto opposition leader and leader of the PKR. Her mother, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is the President of PKR.
Nurul Izzah attended Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Damansara for her primary education, and then Sekolah Menengah Sri Hartamas, both in Kuala Lumpur. She later attended Assunta Secondary School in Petaling Jaya. In 2004, she graduated with a Bachelor in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Universiti Tenaga Nasional, and in May 2007 graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Masters in International Relations.
After her father's arrest in 1998 on charges of sodomy and graft, Nurul Izzah campaigned for his release, speaking at international venues against the actions of the Malaysian government.
In the 2008 general election, Nurul Izzah contested the seat of Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur, which was contested by three candidates. There were speculations that she ran for the seat with the intention of handing it over to her father, who was disqualified from running for office until April 2008, though she quickly rejected such claims. The seat was defended by three-term incumbent Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who was Minister for Women, Family and Community Development in the Barisan Nasional government. Initial reports suggested that Shahrizat would retain the seat, as she had been a popular minister, and in the 2004 election retained her seat with a majority of 15,288. However, on polling day, Nurul Izzah won 21,728 votes to Shahrizat's 18,833, and was elected as the new MP for Lembah Pantai.
The defeat of the powerful three-term incumbent by a new face was one of the many surprises in the 2008 election, which saw significant losses of parliamentary seats by the ruling party.
In November 2010, Nurul Izzah was elected one of the Vice Presidents of Parti Keadilan Rakyat. 
|Year||Pakatan Rakyat||Votes||Pct||Barisan Nasional||Votes||Pct||Independent||Votes||Pct||Ballots cast||Majority||Turnout|
|2008||Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR)||21,728||52.62%||Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (UMNO)||18,833||45.61%||Periasamy a/l Nagarathnam||489||1.18%||41,289||2,895||72.88%|
|2013||Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR)||31,008||51.39%||Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin (UMNO)||29,161||48.33%||Rosli Baba||167||0.28%||61,048||1,847||84.30%|
Nurul Izzah is married to Raja Ahmad Shahrir, who works in corporate finance and is a royal family member of Johor. They have a daughter named Raja Nur Safiyah (born 2007) and a son, Raja Harith (born 2009).
Freedom of religion for Malaysians and subsequent defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia
In a November 3, 2012 forum, Islamic state: Which version? Whose responsibility?, that was jointly organised by the Oriental Hearts & Minds Study Institute and the Islamic Renaissance Front, a member of the audience, a lawyer identified as Siti Kasim, had asked Nurul Izzah a question regarding the freedom of religion in Malaysia. Nurul Izzah then neutrally responded that there is no compulsion in Islam and she is held to prevailing views. Nurul Izzah then referred the crowd to a verse in the Al-Quran, as did another Muslim speaker in the same forum, "There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing." [Al Baqarah 256]
This issue was subsequently picked up by the mainstream media in Malaysia and was an opportunity for Utusan Malaysia, the mouthpiece of the ruling UMNO-Barisan Nasional coalition to consistently raise the issue as a catalyst to incite hatred, division and unrest among Malaysians. The print and online versions of the article, "Melayu Bebas Pilih Agama?" (Malays are free to choose religions?) ran on 5 November 2012 was the start of a barrage of libel attacks by Utusan Malaysia towards Nurul Izzah who is their political opponent in Malaysia, unlike the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. The online version of the article has since been removed by Utusan Malaysia after Nurul Izzah filed a defamation suit on November 23, 2012.
Despite Nurul Izzah strongly denying claims that she had promoted apostasy via various press conferences, an official statement and a transcript made readily available to the public, the issue was kept afloat by the government backed mainstream media. Coverage of the issue was paramount to the 55-year survival of the now ailing UMNO led government which used the issue to divert the attention of the public away from the various scandals which includes rampant corruption, among others. With over 61% of the Malaysian population practicing Islam and the impending 13th General Election looming, there has been extensive efforts to secure the grip held in the Federal Government by the Barisan Nasional coalition, which includes defamation, fabricating issues and dividing the nation. The current Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had mentioned that the administrative region of Putrajaya must be defended 'at all costs'.
Nurul Izzah subsequently proceeded with a defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia via her lawyers, Hanipa Maidin dan Haji Sulaiman Abdullah on the grounds of restating her words inaccurately, misrepresenting what was said in her statements and of faith defamation. Nurul Izzah had named the Utusan Malaysia's editor Datuk Aziz Ishak and Utusan Melayu Malaysia Berhad as the defendants, seeking an apology and retraction of the alleged defamatory statements from the defendants, apart from general, exemplary and aggravated damages 
The Malaysian High Court has since set February 18, 2013 for the hearing of the defamation suit.
- Anwar's daughter steps into political wilderness, Ahmad Pathoni, Reuters, 28 February 2008
- "Nurul Izzah Anwar >> About". Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Shahrizat hails challenge, Joceline Tan, The Star (Malaysia), 13 February 2008
- Heussner, Ki Mae (2008-03-10). "Shahrizat: Time for BN to do some 'soul-searching'". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- From outcast to future Prime Minister?, Jessinta Tan, Today (Singapore newspaper), 10 March 2008
- PKR polls results officially announced The Star (Malaysia), 28 November 2010
- "13th MALAYSIAN GENERAL ELECTION". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 3 January 2010.
- "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen 2013" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Profile @ Nurul Izzah Anwar
- Nurul Izzah sues Utusan for defamation over apostasy row @ Fri Nov 23 2012