Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today (FMT)
Related News: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/02/12/nurul-izzahs-resignation-good-but-appointment-should-have-been-avoided/
PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar’s resignation as the senior economics and financial adviser to the prime minister is a welcome move, but the appointment should not have been done in the first place, says an anti-corruption watchdog.
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said while it showed that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had taken heed of the concerns of civil society groups, he must ensure no one in his government makes such appointments in future.
“This entire exercise was unnecessary in the first place,” C4’s CEO, Pushpan Murugiah, said. “It has distracted the government’s attention from focusing on the many governance reforms that are needed to fight the bigger issue of corruption in our country.”
Nurul Izzah, who announced her resignation from the position earlier today, will be joining the secretariat formed by the advisory panel for the finance ministry as the co-chair.
The resignation of the former Permatang Pauh MP came following criticisms from various quarters of her appointment, which some said reeked of nepotism.
Former Klang MP Charles Santiago said the resignation showed that both Anwar’s administration and Nurul Izzah herself listened to the criticisms and had acted on them.
He also said her decision to take on the secretariat co-chair’s role shows that she has not given up on her aim to help fix the country’s woes.
“We should just support Nurul Izzah and encourage more people like her to volunteer their services to the government in order to make it work,” he told FMT, adding that she is a “dynamic asset to the establishment”.
Another civil society group, Aliran, praised the PKR vice-president for her decision, saying it will benefit both herself and her father in the long run for there is now some professional distance between them and a clearer line of accountability.
“In the same vein, all other political leaders and people in important public leadership positions should avoid the taint of nepotism,” said Aliran president Anil Netto in a statement.
Pulling wool over the rakyat’s eye
However, opposition MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said the resignation was merely an attempt to pull the wool over the rakyat’s eyes.
“The resignation means nothing as she is still a family member who directly works within her father’s office,” he told FMT.
The Bersatu Youth chief also asked whether the Pakatan Harapan leaders and MPs who defended her appointment would now withdraw their arguments.