Shahrizat uses Anwar’s sodomy trial to deflect cattle scandal
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said today that Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail should also quit as PKR president for her husband’s criminal charges if she was forced to resign as minister over the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal.
The Cabinet minister has been under pressure from PKR to quit the Cabinet after a host of allegations emerged in recent weeks about improprieties involving the NFC, a national cattle project managed by her family.
Among the issues that have been raised by PKR has been the use of public funds to acquire luxury condominiums and possible use of company money by the minister’s family.
Shahrizat maintained her stand today that she had nothing to do with the company managed by her husband and children.
Instead she challenged PRK Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin to call for the resignation of PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail instead.
Shahrizat made this statement today in response to Zuraida’s call for Shahrizat’s resignation over the NFC ‘cattle condo’ scandal.
The NFC is being investigated for cheating or criminal breach of trust over its purchase of two luxury condominium units here with government funds. NFC executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail is Shahrizat’s husband.
“She (Zuraida) has told me to resign because my husband is involved in NFC. He does his work, and I do mine. I have nothing to do with it (the fiasco), why ask me to resign?” Shahrizat asked the 944 delegates during her opening speech at the Umno Wanita general assembly here.
“If this is her policy and principal, then I challenge the head of PKR Wanita to call for the president of PKR to resign,” she said, prompting loud cheers from the crowd.
“Today, I challenge all (PKR Wanita members) to call for Wan Azizah’s resignation because of her husband (PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim), who has been punished and charged for offences that cannot even escape my lips,” she added.
The Cabinet minister accused the opposition of fearing the strength of Umno Wanita, hence “want to cari pasal (look for trouble), but cannot find anything”.
“I am tired of smiling, after this...” Shahrizat threatened jokingly, rolling up her sleeves to cheering supporters before adding “and I have not even shifted my sarong yet”.
“This is a warning to opposition, dear Zuraida head of PKR who is rude, you think we fear all of you? Who are you?” she questioned feistily.
“Under Najib’s leadership, women are given priority. This is why the opposition are scared,” she explained, adding that she understands the desires of women completely as a woman, mother, wife and leader “just as how you all understand what I am going through”.
“I don’t know about Zuraida, but I believe every woman, mother and wife understands me and are crying with me,” she added.
Shahrizat warned the opposition not to take her or her division for granted.
“30 years I have served in Umno, and I am still strong. Women, the more they age the stronger they become,” she said.
“Do not think I am weak. I face challenges and hardship. I am not a leader of fair times, I am a leader of hard times.”