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Nurul Izzah Faces Backlash For Calling Mahathir A "Former Dictator"

The Permatang Pauh MP was recently interviewed by Singapore daily The Straits Times.

Cover image via The Straits Times

Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament (MP) Nurul Izzah reportedly called Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad a "former dictator" in a recent interview

During an interview with The Straits Times, Nurul revealed that her heart has been broken due to Mahathir's return to power. 

"It's been so turbulent and tumultuous... I think my heart's been broken as well," she told the Singapore daily. 

"Having to work with a former dictator who wreaked so much damage – not just on our lies, but the system... It was not easy," she added.

Following her interview, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) adviser N. Surendran hit out at Nurul for her statement

While Nurul's name was not mentioned, Surendran questioned if her comments during the interview were acceptable through a tweet yesterday, 24 March. 

"The timing, platform, and manner is all wrong," Surendran wrote.

The prominent lawyer was referring to the current water agreement and maritime territorial disputes between Malaysia and Singapore.

Surendran questioned if it was acceptable for Nurul, a leading government MP, to call the Prime Minister a "former dictator" in an exclusive interview with the Singapore daily.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali also chipped in on Nurul's statement

In a tweet last night, Azmin apparently took aim at the Permatang Pauh MP following her interview and decision to quit the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

According to Malaysiakini, the Economic Affairs Minister was criticising those who whined in his tweet – an indirect reference to Nurul.

Free Malaysia Today reported that Nurul had resigned as a PAC member last week after opposition MP Ronald Kiandee, chairman of the committee, quit Barisan Nasional and joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

The Permatang Pauh MP also revealed that she is serving her final term as an MP.

In addition, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman came to Mahathir's defence following Nurul's interview

According to Free Malaysia Today, Syed Saddiq said that many reforms have taken place since Mahathir's return to power. 

"We have enabled media freedom, freed up the Election Commission, separated the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission from the Prime Minister's Office and come up with a structural plan to combat corruption," the Muar MP told Free Malaysia Today. 

Syed Saddiq added that it was Mahathir who asked for a limit on the Prime Minister's tenure through a constitutional amendment. 

You can watch Nurul's full interview with The Straits Times here:

In December 2018, Nurul resigned from her position as PKR vice-president:

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