Report: 147 Wanita Umno division heads want Shahrizat to return
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — As many as 147 Wanita Umno division chiefs nationwide are calling for Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to lead the party’s women’s wing as the former minister’s legacy and reputation left behind have persisted even after retiring from politics.
Wanita Umno Kota Melaka chief Datuk Haryaty Hamdzah was quoted as saying in a report by Utusan Malaysia that the collective decision was made during a meeting with Shahrizat herself most recently.
“A majority of us have considered requesting Tan Sri Shahrizat to return and helm Wanita Umno after we met with her face-to-face.
“Personally, I was never under her leadership when she was the wing’s chief but her reputation and legacy during her stint as women, family and community development minister had brought much success.
“She is always idolised by the many women out there,” Haryaty said in a statement.
She later stressed that the rejection of the motion proposed by Wanita Umno delegates to have the wing’s chief and division posts go uncontested is proof of the grassroots’ wish for a new leadership.
“The motion’s failure is proof that the grassroots want a new leadership.
“Even though there were attempts to retain the existing leadership, it was unsuccessful. Through the democratic process, we will witness whether Shahrizat is truly missed,” Haryaty added.
Following Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the 14th general election, Shahrizat announced her intention to not defend her position in the Umno party election that year and said she had relinquished all her positions in the Malay nationalist party, including at the branch, division and national levels.
Shahrizat helmed the women’s ministry from 2001 to 2012. She quit as minister after a corruption scandal surrounding the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) cattle-rearing project broke out.
Shahrizat’s family was accused of using RM250 million in soft government loans meant for the NFC project to purchase luxury condominium units.
Incumbent Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad, who is also Parit Sulong MP, has recently indicated her intention to defend her post.
Elections for the Umno divisions and its supreme council will be held simultaneously on March 18.
The elections for the party wings — Wanita, Youth, and Puteri — will similarly be held simultaneously but earlier, on March 11.
The Umno polls had been deferred several times, initially due to the Covid-19 pandemic and later due to the 15th general election last year.