Jomo: Nurul Izzah’s new appointment not a liability

“When the fourth PM Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, I don’t think many people raised that as an issue when he (Khairy) was running the so-called ‘fourth floor’. Similarly, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad assisted his son Mukhriz Mahathir in his political career, I didn’t hear these things being said. Did anybody ask anything about this? I hear this being said especially of Nurul Izzah. I think here you cannot discount the gender question.

(The Edge) – Amid criticisms from many individuals and groups against Nurul Izzah Anwar’s appointment as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s senior economics and finance adviser, a prominent economist says the appointment is not a liability as the PKR vice president has demonstrated sound political and policy independence throughout her political career.

Dr Jomo Kwame Sundram said although the optics of the manner of Nurul Izzah’s appointment may not look good in the eyes of the public in view of the fact that she is Anwar’s daughter, it does not compromise her capability of fulfilling the new position’s role and responsibilities.

“I am also not keen on the prime minister being the finance minister. I am also not keen on this (Nurul Izzah’s) appointment. But all things considered the reaction to her appointment is unwarranted.

“In an ideal world, I will not advocate this. But she has a level of competencies that many people do not know of,” Jomo told The Edge during an interview on Monday (Jan 30).

The Khazanah Research Institute senior adviser added:  “I think if somebody else was the prime minister, her appointment would have been uncontroversial. I would say her appointment is not a liability because she has demonstrated policy independence in a variety of issues in the past.

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