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(Image by Aizuddin Saad / Shutterstock)

Nurul Izzah returns to public accounts committee after Mahathir agrees to appoint new chief from opposition

Malaysia’s Member of Parliament of Permatang Pauh, Nurul Izzah Anwar, has rejoined the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after resigning the bipartisan panel in protest two weeks ago over the appointment its chief.

Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee from opposition party UMNO was appointed as Chairman of the PAC by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Appointing an opposition MP as PAC chief was one the coalition’s promises in the 14th General Election.

However, the Sabah lawmaker eventually resigned from his party in December and joined Bersatu last month. Bersatu is the party led by PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad which forms part of the ruling PH coalition.

Initially, Dr Mahathir said that it was ‘not institutionalised’ that the post must be helf by an opposition MP, which means Kiandee could stay on as PAC chief. The PM also said that PH did fulfil its promise on appointing an opposition MP as Kiandee was still with UMNO when he was appointed.

“We never expected him to move over,” Dr Mahathir added.

However, Nurul Izzah, as well as Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh, were among those in the ruling government to speak out against keeping Kiandee as PAC chief now that he’s no longer part of the opposition.

Nurul Izzah resigned the panel on 22 March in protest.

However, now that the government has decided to replace Kiandee with an opposition MP, Ms Nurul has decided to return.

She told reporters, “I agreed to rejoin PAC after discussions with Pakatan Harapan chief whip (Johari Abdul) and getting approval from the speaker (Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof).”

She added that she hoped the reform agenda will continued to benefit both the nation and its people.

Kiandess also confirmed that Ms Nurul is in fact back, and even attended the PAC meeting on Thursday. He said, “We welcome her attendance as she contributes to our proceedings.”

UMNO’s Noraini Ahmad is expected to take over from Kiandee as chief.