Nurul Izzah appointed to lead Penang PKR again

GEORGE TOWN: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has been appointed to lead Penang PKR as part of the party's restructuring exercise involving several states.

Prior to the 15th General Election, Nurul Izzah, who is the daughter of PKR president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was appointed to lead three northern states — Penang, Kedah and Perlis.

In GE15, she contested the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, but failed to retain her family's and the party's stronghold.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the appointment of state PKR chiefs was decided during a PKR leadership council meeting on Sunday.

"The restructuring took into account all views to ensure PKR continues to remain strong in supporting the reform agenda under Anwar."

The restructuring exercise also involves Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Melaka.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Dr Mohamad Abdul Hamid was appointed Penang PKR deputy chief, taking over from Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who is Balik Pulau member of parliament since 2018.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said Nurul Izzah's reappointment as Penang PKR chief was part of the party's efforts to further polish her political position.

"If the party is bent on grooming Nurul Izzah, then might as well let her continue.

"Losing or winning an election does not necessarily correlate with party leadership.

"Some people won elections, but were replaced, such as Christina Liew of Sabah," he told the New Straits Times.

Oh said PKR is a "salad bowl" of diverse political factions and ideologies.

"So, it is almost impossible to satisfy the needs or wants of most party factions."

He said nepotism was common in Malaysian politics.

Nurul Izzah, often regarded as "Puteri Reformasi", has been outspoken on many issues in Penang in the past.

She once called for the cancellation of the massive Penang South Reclamation Project to preserve the state's valuable fishing ground, protect the livelihood of fishermen and ensure food security.

The NST has reached out to Nurul Izzah for comment.

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