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Friday, February 3, 2012

'Damn it, please move out!' - Rafidah tells Shahrizat

Sulaiman Kamal | 11:36 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Even as her three-weak leave from the cabinet ends today, Women, Family and Community Development minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has found herself at the receiving end of another attack, this time by a familiar foe who she replaced.

Shahrizat's predecessor in Wanita UMNO, its former head Rafidah Aziz, launched a vitriolic attack on her, literally telling Shahrizat, who has been at the centre of the scandal involving the government-aided National Feedlot Corporation managed by her family members, to "move out".

Speaking to UMNO-linked daily Malay Mail, Rafidah did not mince her words when urging Shahrizat to resign, echoing a call by their former boss Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other UMNO leaders.

“If you are a problem to the party and government, please move out! That’s it (for) everyone, whether it’s got to do with cows or anything (else). That’s the most matured way of dealing with your problems,” said Rafidah.
Rafidah also took issue with Shahrizat’s three week leave, which the latter said was to allow a probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency into claims that she and her family members misused RM200 million government cash for their cattle-rearing company.

“Why are you so hung up about the three-week decision (to take a break)? You’re missing the point!

“The point is: damn it, decide, don’t leave it (the decision to go) to the prime minister. Don’t leave the onus on the prime minister to decide for you,” said Rafidah, removing all brakes in her criticism of the person to whom she lost in an intense campaign to win the Wanita UMNO chief election in 2009.

'AP and NFCorp not the same'

Besides Shahrizat's husband Mohamad Salleh Ismail, their children are also part of the top management of NFCorp. Sons Wan Shahinur Izmir Salleh and Wan Shahinur Izran are executive director and chief executive officer respectively, while daughter Wan Izzanah Fatimah is director, all of whom had been accused of drawing fat monthly salaries against a backdrop of financial abuses.

According to Rafidah, the scandal has effectively taken Shahrizat off the list of prime minister Najib Razak's so-called “winnable candidates” to represent BN in the coming polls.

“Whoever is in the wrong, please do the needful. But do not use the same brush stroke to tarnish the government. That’s why I say if you’re a bother to the government, you are a liability to the government and to the party, (and should) make the decision to move away,” she added.

The former International Trade and Industry minister, who herself was once embroiled in the controversy surrounding the abuse of Approved Permit (APs), however was quick to squash any attempt to equate it with the NFCorp issue.

“There was no evidence and there was no link to any family member. You think I’m not a God-fearing woman and do all these things? It’s a sin, you know!” she exclaimed.

Meantime, whether or not Rafidah’s outburst is a signal of her return to helm the troubled Wanita UMNO movement, is something political analysts will be eagerly following.


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