First time I shook her hand was in 1998, shortly after a commando team broke rudely into Anwar Ibrahim's Damansara Heights residence and bundled him off as "a threat to national security." Nurul Izzah was only 18 years old then, but she was composed and confident as she greeted the throngs of well-wishers passing through their home to lend moral support.
Nurul Izzah's illustrious father, Anwar Ibrahim, was indeed a very serious threat - not to the nation but to the corrupt, hypocritical and tyrannical Umno regime established by the megalomaniacal and Machiavellian Mahathir Mohamad - who, in his 22-year term, almost single-handedly obliterated the horizon of decency and morally contaminated every public institution in the country - from the police force and the judiciary right down to our universities, civil service, and even the religious agencies.
Almost 13 years later, little has changed in Malaysia. The evil legacy left behind by Mahathir still plagues the nation. And Nurul Izzah's father is still the icon of political reform, as the Opposition Leader poised to become Malaysia's 7th prime minister if we can somehow overcome BN's fraudulent election system and knock them off their high horses.
At only 31, Nurul Izzah Anwar is already a seasoned campaigner. Everyone I know admires her courage, intelligence, composure - and, most of all, her compassionate, down-to-earth political stance. Of course, her striking beauty is a fantastic bonus. We dream of the day when we can watch our prime minister address the nation with sheer adoration and open-hearted admiration.
It's high time Malaysia gets a leader who deserves a standing ovation whenever she opens her mouth.