After furore over Nurul Izzah’s appointment, Muhyiddin says not too late for Anwar to undo ‘missteps’

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could still reverse the “missteps” made even before his administration was 100 days’ old, such as naming the latter’s daughter as a senior government adviser.

In a statement seizing on the PM’s appointment of Nurul Izzah Anwar as his finance and economics adviser, Muhyiddin said Anwar has diverged from his agenda for reforms and good governance since coming to power.

These included Anwar’s appointment of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as a deputy prime minister despite undisposed corruption charges, taking on the finance portfolio despite previously criticising the practice, and the “unprecedented” appointment of his daughter as a senior adviser.

“It is not too late for Anwar to remedy the situation. Resign as the minister of finance. Focus on the job as prime minister, especially when the people and the country are facing difficult times.

“After all, the 1MDB scandal broke out when the prime minister at the time, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was also the minister of finance. Anwar should not repeat the same mistake,” he said, referring to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad corruption scandal for which Najib has already been imprisoned.

Muhyiddin also said Zahid should be placed on a leave of absence until his corruption trial was over, to avoid tarnishing Malaysia’s image.

While he complimented Nurul Izzah on her abilities, the former PM said the perception over her appointment would do more harm than good.

“I believe she is a talented young female leader with great potential. Don't let this misplaced little appointment become a black mark in her political journey towards a possibly brighter future,” he added.

Yesterday, Anwar confirmed that he made Nurul Izzah his senior economic and financial advisor, after she revealed the January 3 appointment in a media interview.

Complaints of nepotism prompted Anwar to defend her appointment, saying it was not necessary for Nurul Izzah to have formal qualifications in finance and economics in order to advise him on such matters.

He further insisted that the appointment was legitimate as Nurul Anwar would not be compensated for her service.