KUALA LUMPUR: Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today defended her use of the term “dictator” when referring to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad during her interview with the Singapore Straits Times recently.
“For the record, it is factual. I had said it before the general election and I used it during a Bersih rally,” she said during a press conference in Parliament today.
“I don’t understand why saying this at a different forum, but containing the same message, becomes problematic,” she said.
Earlier in her interview, Nurul Izzah said she was “heartbroken” with the political developments in the country after the general election last year.
She was also dissatisfied with the crossover of former Umno MPs into Pakatan Harapan.
She said it was difficult to work with an “ex-dictator” (referring to Mahathir) who had caused so much damage in the past.
Her statement was then criticised by PPBM leaders, such as Supreme Council member Tariq Ismail Mustafa.
Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah maintained today that her comments against the government were constructive and due to her love for the nation.
“It can’t be that we can’t give constructive criticism and only listen to what people have to say.
“Is it becoming a problem or is it unacceptable for me to speak like this? I think this is okay as a citizen. Anyone can comment about change,” she said.
In other developments, she said her resignation as a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member was not because of Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee.
She spoke about her respect for Kiandee and that every PAC member worked well together.
“It is not about the individuals, not about who sits there, or the personalities.
“At the end of the day, the structure must prevail, and be put in place to guard excesses,” she said.
The lawmaker had tweeted on March 15 that the position of the PAC chairman must be filled by the opposition to pursue accountability of the executive wing.
Mahathir has said Kiandee will remain as PAC chairman until a replacement from the opposition is found.
However, yesterday, all three opposition MPs in PAC resigned with immediate effect on grounds that the government is refusing to appoint a representative from the opposition to head the committee.
They were Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong), Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) and Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bharu).