PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar’s decision to quit as PKR vice-president and Penang PKR chief was so sudden that it surprised even the other leaders in Pakatan Harapan, including her own party colleagues.
Pakatan chairman and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he did not know why the Permatang Pauh MP let go of her party positions, but believed she had good reasons to do so.
“I don’t know anything about what is happening in PKR,” he added.
Nurul Izzah said little over the shock move. However, she showed her annoyance on Twitter when Datuk Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, another Pakatan politician, suggested she retract her resignation so that she could continue to help make holistic reforms happen. He also said he believed that she would come back stronger and refreshed.
Nurul Izzah responded in a tweet that has since gone viral: “Kindly refrain from ever commenting on my behalf. @raishussin”.
Rais is the chief strategist of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, whose chairman is Dr Mahathir.
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said he would talk to Nurul Izzah to understand what really happened.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua said that he supports her decision.
He dismissed claims that certain people pressured Nurul Izzah into resigning. “She is a smart person and is of high calibre. She does not have to bow to pressure by anyone,” he said.
“I am sad over her resignation. She is a leader with much potential.
“In this current situation, I also symphatise with her because of her position. As an old friend who has been fighting alongside her for so long, I understand her and will offer my support for every decision she makes.”
In a statement yesterday afternoon, Nurul Izzah announced her resignation from all her party positions, choosing to remain as an ordinary member.
She said she would continue serving her constituents in Permatang Pauh and as a legislator until her term expires. She added that she would no longer serve the federal government in any capacity.
On her roles in the Penang government-linked companies, she left it to the party leadership to decide.
“I remain a member of the parliamentary backbench committed to reforms. I also leave it to the leadership the decision as to my status as a member of the Public Accounts Committee,” she said.
“I earlier relinquished my post as chair of the Bills Committee in favour of the PAC. But I will continue my advocacy work as an ordinary citizen and Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh. “My only regret is that I should have made this announcement sooner, but it has not been an easy decision to arrive at. The pace of political developments has been relentless for the last nine months, with party elections following a gruelling general election campaign.”
Nurul Izzah added that she is resolved to doing “the right thing” now that she had the chance to take stock of where she stood in relation to politics.
She said Malaysians had seen the enlargement of their democratic space for reforms to be initiated after the May 9 general election. However, she pointed out that it remains to be seen what Pakatan’s reform agenda would yield in the end.
“It remains crucial that all stakeholders continue pressing for the fulfilment of the reforms, as well as the continuation of policies and programmes of the previous government if proven to be beneficial for the rakyat,” she said.
Another PKR vice-president, Zuraida Kamaruddin, said party leaders and member should respect Nurul Izzah’s decision.
“I believe her decision was made after she thought deeply about it from various aspects,” Zuraida said. “The next step forward regarding this must be based on any plans by party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.”
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