Nurul Izzah Anwar

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This is a Malay name; the name Anwar is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Nurul Izzah.
Yang Berhormat Puan
Nurul Izzah Anwar
Nurul Izzah reporters.jpg
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Lembah Pantai
Assumed office
8 March 2008
Preceded by Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Majority 2,895 (2008)
1,847 (2013)
Vice-President of People's Justice Party
Assumed office
28 November 2010
Personal details
Born (1980-11-19) 19 November 1980 (age 36)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Political party PKRPakatan Rakyat
Spouse(s) Raja Ahmad Shahrir (m. May 2003 - d. January 2015)
Children Raja Nur Safiyah
Raja Harith
Parents Anwar Ibrahim
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Alma mater University Tenaga Nasional
Johns Hopkins University
Occupation Politician
Religion Islam

Nurul Izzah Anwar (born 19 November 1980) is a Malaysian politician from a leading political family. Nurul Izzah is the current, second-term Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai. Prior to being an MP, Nurul Izzah was and still is a strong proponent of human and civil rights with a special interest in prisoners of conscience, pursuing a holistic reform agenda to expand democracy in Malaysia.

Early life[edit]

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.[1] Her mother, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is the President of PKR.


Prior to entering politics, she earned her master's degree from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University studying International Relations specializing in Southeast Asia Studies. Her bachelor's degree was in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University Tenaga Nasional where she graduated from in 2004, two days after her father, Anwar Ibrahim, was released from six years imprisonment.


Nurul Izzah"s political career began with the creation of the People's Justice Party (KEADILAN) in 1999 where she played a vital role in its establishment and is currently on her second term as highest ranking Vice President Elect, as well as the party's Election Director – a post she holds jointly with Dato Saifuddin Nasution (former Party Secretary-General).

She is the founding member for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Caucus; and Women's Caucus respectively. She also holds the position of Honorary Treasurer on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Malaysia. She has also moved the Parliamentary Bill in Malaysia's Parliament to Revoke Emergency Declarations in the country, including the eventual abolishment of the draconian Internal Security Act – all of which were adopted by the Prime Minister six months later. Granted, other laws were then re-introduced, in line with Malaysia's semi-autocratic regime.

She is the current Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai and vice President-cum-Election director of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

She is also a Board of Director for the Centre of Reform, Democracy and Social Initiatives and has founded Akademi Manusiawi, a training centre for future activists and politicians.

She has worked with a number of agencies and institutes on advocacy work, among them are the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Women Leaders International Forum (WLIF) and Friedrich-Ebert Stifung (FES). She has in the past advocated on behalf of Malaysian political prisoners and Malaysian human rights movements at the international level, most noted being an intervention in the main session at the 55th Commission on Human Rights, Geneva.

Personal life[edit]

She has two children, Safiyah and Harith.[2]

Nurul Izzah actively contributes to the Malay publication Sinar – continuously educating the electorate with positive thoughts on reform.[3]


In the 2008 general election, Nurul Izzah contested the seat of Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur. There was speculation 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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1][4] 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.[5] 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.[6] When her father returned to electoral politics he did so by replacing his wife and Nurul Izzah's mother, Wan Azizah, in a by-election for the Penang-based seat of Permatang Pauh.

In November 2010, Anwar was elected one of the vice-presidents of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.[7] She was narrowly returned to Parliament in the 2013 election. The governing Barisan Nasional coalition had targeted her by fielding the incumbent Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin as its candidate against her in a high-profile campaign.[8]

In November 2015, Princess Jacel Kiram and Anwar posted a photo demanding Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to free opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim which was received negatively in the media, prompting Anwar to apologize. [9]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia[10][11]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2008 Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR) 21,728 52.62% Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (UMNO) 18,833 45.61% 41,289 2,895 72.88%
Periasamy Nagarathnam 489 1.18%
2013 Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR) 31,008 51.39% Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin (UMNO) 29,161 48.33% 61,048 1,847 84.30%
Rosli Baba 167 0.28%


  1. ^ a b c d Anwar's daughter steps into political wilderness, Ahmad Pathoni, Reuters, 28 February 2008
  2. ^ "Nurul Izzah Anwar". Nurul Izzah Anwar Official website. Retrieved 10 March 2008. 
  3. ^ Safiyah and Harith. The Star. 15 January 2015.
  4. ^ Shahrizat hails challenge, Joceline Tan, The Star, 13 February 2008
  5. ^ Ki Mae Heussner (10 March 2008). "Shahrizat: Time for BN to do some 'soul-searching'". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 10 March 2008. 
  6. ^ From outcast to future Prime Minister?, Jessinta Tan, Today, 10 March 2008
  7. ^ PKR polls results officially announced The Star, 28 November 2010
  8. ^ Emily Ding (6 May 2013). "Nurul Izzah slays second BN giant to keep Lembah Pantai". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Malaysian Nurul Izzah apologises for photo with Jacel Kiram". Channel News Asia. November 21, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ "13th Malaysian General Election". The Star. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen 2013". Election Commission of Malaysia (in Malay). Retrieved 6 May 2013. 

External links[edit]