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The house seemed dreary. When the gates opened, the yard was lit only by a light coming from inside.

It was markedly different from the night of March 8, 2008, and the day after.

At the time, the two-storey building in Bukit Segambut was filled with people.

Most of them were happy, while the rest were still in disbelief that Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Perak would fall into the hands of Pakatan Rakyat.

In Kelantan, meanwhile, PAS retained its control of the state.

But yesterday, the house was dreary, and that bleakness was felt when Nurul Hana Anwar recounted how she compiled the book 'My Dear Papa'.

“It is very personal,” Nurul Hana said.

The book is a compilation of notes, photos, and collages that portray Anwar Ibrahim as being more than a politician.

'I still feel papa’s absence'

Anwar is already a household name in this country. When the police took him from his home - then in Bukit Damansara - to Bukit Aman, Nurul Hana was only six years old.

“I didn’t understand anything but I knew something serious was going on,” she told Malaysiakini .

Because of the incident 17 years ago, Nurul Hana admitted, she had been traumatised. The feelings were indescribable.

Now, in 2015, her father was locked in prison again, as though the 1998 history was repeating itself.

“I still feel papa’s absence,” she said.

Asked about the process of producing the book - which started out as a college project - she said she felt touched when sees images and words from Anwar and what is written about the former deputy prime minister.

“It was not to the extent of dropping tears, but I was touched,” she said.

Asked if there are any feelings of grudge, Nurul Hana said what is documented is sorrow.

“Grudges, no. Mama said everything is Allah’s will. There is a blessing behind it.

“Allah will not impose a test that we cannot bear,” she said.

Not interested in joining politics

Nurul Hana hopes the book can help people understand that Anwar’s struggles still continued even though the former opposition leader is now behind bars.

She also hopes the book 'My Dear Papa' would offer some insight into another side of Anwar.

In the collage, Nurul Hana has also decorated it with some notes and some of her own poetry.

Asked if she is interested in joining politics, Nurul Hana promptly answered, “No.”

Perhaps Malaysia has nothing to lose if she joins politics, as her mother Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and sister Nurul Izzah have done.

Nevertheless, the book seems to suggest that it would be a loss if Nurul Hana diverts attention away from her interest in the arts.

'My Dear Papa' is published by Gerakbudaya Enterprise and will be launched by national laureate A Samad Said at the Civic Centre in Petaling Jaya New Town tonight.

In conjunction with the launch, the book will also be sold at a discounted price today.

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