Give up finance minister post, tell Nurul Izzah to step down, Muhyiddin urges Anwar

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should relinquish the finance portfolio and advise his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar to step down from her role as senior adviser, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic).

The former premier said that Anwar should also order his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to go on leave pending the conclusion of his court cases.

Sharing his views as an “ordinary citizen”, the Bersatu chief also said that Anwar’s government did not begin on the right footing.

He said there was a breach of practice of good governance with the appointment of Ahmad Zahid, who is facing corruption charges in court, as Deputy Prime Minister.

“It is not too late for Anwar to mend the situation. Resign as Finance Minister. Focus on your duties as Prime Minister, especially when the country is facing a tough time,” he said in a Facebook post Monday (Jan 30).

He added that Nurul Izzah is a young and talented leader with a huge potential.

“Don’t let this small inappropriate appointment (of Nurul Izzah as senior adviser) become a black mark in her potentially bright political future,” he said.

He said this is the first time in the history of Malaysia a prime minister had appointed his own child as an adviser.

Muhyiddin said within 100 days of rising to power, Anwar had betrayed the spirit of “Reformasi” or reforms, the slogan synonymous with PKR’s crusade.

He said this has also made the slogan meaningless.

As for Ahmad Zahid, he said the Deputy Prime Minister must go on leave until his court cases are over.

Describing it as a political transaction on the basis of “you scratch my back, and I scratch yours”, the Pagoh MP alleged that the Umno chief was appointed to the deputy premier post as he was able to force Barisan Nasional MPs to support Anwar as premier.

“It is embarrassing for Malaysians if he (Ahmad Zahid) goes abroad and meet foreign leaders on official trips as deputy prime minister while his cases were still in court. What would the headlines be in the country he visits,” he asked.

He said Anwar has gone back on his election promises on integrity, including that of the prime minister not being appointed as the finance minister, by appointing himself to helm the portfolio.

He reminded the Tambun MP that the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal took place when then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was also the finance minister.

“As an opposition party leader, I can take advantage of Anwar’s mistakes. But as an ordinary citizen, I don’t have the heart to see the country’s reputation being tarnished because of the Prime Minister’s rashness,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wanita PKR defended Nurul Izzah’s appointment as senior adviser amidst nepotism criticism.

Its chief Fadhlina Sidek said Nurul Izzah’s appointment is welcomed as it is in line with the unity government’s goal to build a team with figures who can play a significant role in nation building.

She said as a former Public Accounts Committee member, Nurul Izzah had ensured that public funds benefited the people.

“Wanita PKR believes and trusts the vice PKR president’s leadership in shouldering this responsibility,” she said.

She added that the Permatang Pauh Multidimensional Poverty Index commissioned by Nurul Izzah when she was still an MP for the constituency is a paradigm shift for the post-pandemic economic landscape.

Fadhlina said the will to improve the lives of the people and Nurul Izzah’s academic qualification will bring positive impact to the country.

“Through generations, this country has shouldered the burden of the loss of talent to serve the country. Wouldn’t it be a waste if we do not use a leader who has the merit as a three-term lawmaker?” asked the Nibong Tebal MP.

Nurul Izzah had revealed in an exclusive interview with Sunday Star that she had been serving as senior adviser to the Prime Minister since Jan 3.

However, Anwar had said that Nurul Izzah is not paid any allowances for the role.

“I am not paying her any allowance, be it from the Prime Minister’s Office, or from the Finance Ministry,” he told a press conference after launching the Tambun parliamentary service centre in Meru Raya on Sunday (Jan 29).