Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says he is open to all comments and will clarify his daughter Nurul Izzah’s appointment as his senior economics and finance adviser.
Reiterating that the appointment would not involve any payment, Anwar said he wanted Nurul to help the government, including by ensuring a transparent administration and the proper award of government tenders.
"I take comments positively. I explain that it is different from previous experiences where appointments would usually involve the question of salary and reward.
"She (Nurul) came to help. That’s all, not to take projects," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Anwar also questioned his critics who, according to him, had not conducted a transparent administration and in fact awarded contracts and tenders worth millions of ringgit to their family members.
"That’s why I’m willing to receive comments. If (they are) sincere, I have no problems because I’m committed to ensuring that there are no unhealthy practices in government administration," he added.
On criticism that Nurul's appointment reeked of nepotism, Anwar said nepotism only happened if one was given a post to abuse power, enrich oneself, accumulate contracts and get a high salary.
Meanwhile, on Malaysia’s drop for a third year in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Anwar said he was confident Malaysia would recover and do better next year.
Anwar said his government had sent a clear message that it would not tolerate corruption and power abuse and would take firm action to combat these.
"This government is still new… we are sincere and focused on actions to fight corruption, and in this matter I give full support to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to discharge its duties," he said.
According to a Transparency International report, Malaysia placed 61st out of 180 countries with a score of 47 points on the CPI 2022, compared to 62nd with 48 points in 2021.