Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin has joined the chorus of condemnation on the appointment of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's daughter as a senior economic adviser to her father, saying it is just the latest in a series of missteps that started with the inclusion of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the Cabinet despite the criminal charges against him.
Muhyiddin also listed three things Anwar could do to redeem his image: instruct Zahid to take leave pending the conclusion of his corruption trials, step down as finance minister, and tell his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar to resign from the position she was appointed to earlier this month.
In a statement, he described Nurul as a woman of talent with a bright future.
"Don't let this minor appointment become a black spot on what could could possibly be a political journey that promises a brighter future," the former prime minister and Bersatu president added.
He also said that the appointment of Nurul was unprecedented.
"Never in Malaysian history has a prime minister appointed his child as an adviser. This appointment renders as empty talk all the slogans of reformasi that Anwar has been chanting for more than 20 years," he said.
Muhyiddin said Anwar had shown that he was more interested in "political transactions based on the practice of 'you scratch my back, I scratch your back'."
He said following Zahid's appointment "to reward" the Umno leader's efforts to ensure the support of Barisan Nasional MPs for Anwar as prime minister last year, Anwar had made another wrong move in appointing himself to head the finance ministry.
"It is hardly 100 days into his administration, yet Anwar has already turned his back on the reformasi struggle embraced by his followers," he said.
Muhyiddin said as the leader of the opposition party, he could easily exploit the situation, adding that he would not want to see the "nation's dignity being sullied by the excesses of the prime minister".
"It is not too late for Anwar to rectify the situation. Resign as finance minister. Focus on the job as prime minister, especially when the people and the country are facing difficult times.
"After all, the 1MDB scandal broke out when the prime minister at the time, Najib, also assumed the role of the finance minister. Anwar should not repeat the same mistake," he added.
Nurul, who lost her Permatang Pauh seat in the recent polls, revealed her appointment in an interview with The Star, saying it took effect on Jan 3.
She said her experience as an MP would come in handy when engaging with "experts in navigating economic governance, accountability and evidence-based policies".
She also said she had been busy meeting with business groups and stakeholders as part of the preparations for the upcoming budget to be tabled by her father.
Anwar later defended the appointment, saying Nurul was qualified for the role despite not having a suitable economics background.
"Even I don't have a finance-related degree or certificate, but I was the minister of finance for eight years (in the 1990s)," he said.