Rumours rife about Shahrizat’s resignation

(The Star) – Talk that Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil may quit her Cabinet post led to pressmen trailing her everywhere.

Scores of reporters waited outside the Prime Minister’s residence from 8am yesterday after rumours that the Women, Family and Community Development Minister would resign.

However, it was revealed that Shahrizat, who was seen entering Seri Perdana in a chauffeured Proton Perdana at 8.30am, was there to attend a meeting on the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme.

Several other Cabinet ministers were also believed to have attended the meeting organised by Pemandu.

“As far as we are concerned, there is no talk of a resignation,” Shahrizat’s press secretary Eikmar Rizal Mohd Ripin told The Star.

The Wanita Umno chief has been embroiled in a controversy over National Feedlot Corpora-tion managed by her family members, including her husband and children.

On Wednesday, she was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over her role in alleged financial improprieties.

Shahrizat said she came to be interviewed as the wife of the corporation’s executive chairman, Datuk Dr Mohd Salleh Ismail.

The controversy arose after the 2010 Auditor-General’s report said NFC, a cattle-breeding project, had not met its target.

Separately, Gerakan deputy party president Datuk Chang Ko Youn hoped Shahrizat would have the magnanimity to vacate her position as minister in the interest of Barisan Nasional.

“She can return to the Cabinet after this episode is over and her name is cleared,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Chang said that while this was a sacrifice on her part, it would be a wise move to save Barisan from “unnecessary attack”.