KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil must quit her Wanita Umno post to preserve the credibility of the party and Barisan Nasional (BN), the wing’s number two has said.
Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim told The Star it was not enough for Shahrizat to step down as federal minister next month and urged the latter to also retire as head of Wanita Umno and Wanita BN.
Kamilia (picture) pointed out that public thought something was “morally and politically wrong” with how National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) was run and that this was affecting polls preparations.
NFCorp is headed by Shahrizat’s husband, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, who has been charged with criminal breach of trust for allegedly misusing the cattle-rearing company’s federal loan.
“I’ve gone down to the grassroots and this is generally what the members are saying. They are finding it hard to meet the people when the image of their leader is tarnished,” Kamilia told the daily.
“People are poking fun at Wanita and calling us ‘cows’. The Wanita grassroots are saying it’s difficult to work (for the general election)... As a leader, we have to listen to what the grassroots are saying.”
The prime minister has already made it clear he no longer wanted Shahrizat as minister and it was now up to Wanita Umno and BN to decide if they would still accept her as their head, she added.
Shahrizat announced on March 11 that she would step down as women, family and community minister when her term as senator expires on April 8.
Her resignation came after nearly five months of allegations that she and her family had used a RM250 million government soft loan earmarked for NFCorp to pay for personal expenses.
NFCorp, which supervises the National Feedlot Centre (NFC), hit national headlines after the company made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year for missing production targets.