Besides being the daughter of the tenth prime minister of Malaysia, Nurul Izzah Anwar is no stranger to the limelight, being a vocal politician and a former MP. The 43-year-old is now the subject of attention again, with her name now trending on Twitter as the subject of the debate of whether her appointment as the PM’s adviser is ethical or otherwise.

She shockingly lost her Permatang Pauh seat, a stronghold of her family last November and since 3 January, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter has been serving as his senior economics and finance adviser. This allows her to work in the Prime Minister’s Department and the Ministry of Finance.

Before entering politics, the Vice President of PKR did her bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Universiti Tenaga Nasional and later obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the acclaimed Johns Hopkins University in Washington.

Her father, who has previously declared that he is not receiving a salary as PM, has defended her appointment, saying that he had personally invited her to serve in the role, but that she is not on the government payroll: “She is not paid any allowance, be it from the Prime Minister’s Office, or from the Finance Ministry.” As her degrees were not related to finance and economics, DSAI also mentioned that he was also previously a finance minister for eight years without possessing a finance degree.

DSAI also added that other ministers from Perikatan Nasional also did not serve in roles that suited their degrees.

Many citizens and politicians have chimed in with their thoughts on the appointment and many are divided on the issue. Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim, also a member of PKR, gave his short but succinct view on the matter on his Facebook page, saying that it was "Legally right but morally wrong."

Others said that the role pointed to nepotism which according to Cambridge dictionary which means ‘the act of using your power or influence to get good jobs or unfair advantages for members of your own family’.

Another compared this to former president of the USA’s Donald Trump’s appointment of his daughter Ivanka as a senior adviser in his administration. Ethics concerns were previously raised about Ivanka’s access to classified material while not being held to the same restrictions as a federal employee.

Some said that it was not a matter of personal political preference but that this was an ethical issue that would be strongly objected to if she was the daughter of previous prime ministers.

Another seemed to be in favour of Pakatan Harapan, but said that this was still a case of nepotism and they expected more from politicians from the party:

Some users were supportive of Nurul Izzah, saying that she would have gotten the role because of her own capabilities and achievements, regardless of her background:

Others said that they didn’t see the problem as she was not receiving a salary:

One Twitter user has defended Nurul Izzah, saying that she has paved her own path even while her father was in prison:

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Image credit: @n_izzah