On Wednesday, 9th of May 2018, our country spoke loud and clear: we want a change. The coalition that has ruled Malaysia for six decades has been overthrown and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad returns to be our country’s prime minister at the age of 93. While the new cabinet line-up has yet to be officially revealed, Dr. M announced in a press conference yesterday (10th May) that he will appoint Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as deputy prime minister, making her the first Malaysian female to hold that position.
Born on 3rd December 1952, YB Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attended St. Nicholas Convent School and Tunku Kurshiah College before going on to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. There, she won the prestigious gold medal in obstetrics and genealogy, and graduated to become a qualified ophthalmologist.
The soft-spoken, graceful lady was a government doctor for more than a decade and did countless voluntary welfare work before entering the political field, a move that she never thought of before her husband’s, Anwar Ibrahim’s, arrest. “I’ve always been behind the scenes. I’ve always liked to be behind the scenes,” she said in a 2001 interview.
The establishment of Parti Keadilan Nasional in 1999 was Dr. Wan Azizah’s first move in forging a political career. Now, two decades later, this inspiring woman will put another feather to her cap as Malaysia’s first female deputy prime minister.
The official announcement for Malaysia’s new cabinet line-up is expected to come tomorrow, May 12th.