Shahrizat angling for comeback, says DAP

Lim Guan Eng - Shahrizat

(The Malaysian Insider) – The DAP scoffed today at Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s decision to resign from Cabinet but remain as Wanita Umno chief, accusing the senator of wanting to make a political comeback.


Secretary general Lim Guan Eng told reporters Shahrizat’s announcement yesterday, after four-and-a-half months of being dogged by allegations she and her family abused a RM250 million federal loan, was a “half-hearted resignation with no real remorse.”

“If you want to resign, do it all the way. If you feel you’ve done nothing wrong, as she said yesterday, then don’t resign at all,” he said of the former Lembah Pantai MP’s decision to step down as women, family and community development minister when her senatorship ends on April 8.

“It’s clear that would be the public’s perception, that she feels she can still make a comeback. But it’s up to the public to decide if they can accept her,” the Penang chief minister said.

Shahrizat and her family were accused by the opposition of using public funds earmarked for the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) to finance over RM62 million of land, property and expenses unrelated to cattle farming.

The company, tasked with running the national cattle-farming scheme, is headed by her husband, Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, and their three children.

The National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, was awarded to the company in 2006, when Shahrizat was in Cabinet.

She had previously resisted calls from the opposition as well as Umno veterans such as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to quit, stressing that she was “only the wife” of Salleh and had nothing to do with the embattled entity.

NFCorp hit the national headlines after it made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year for missing production targets.

Police recommended last month that the Attorney-General (A-G) charge NFCorp’s directors for criminal breach of trust, but the A-G has asked the police to conduct further investigations.

Shahrizat was appointed as women, family and community development minister in 2001 and held the post until 2008, when she lost her seat to Nurul Izzah Anwar in the general election.

She was then appointed special advisor to the prime minister on women affairs and social development, before being taking up her Cabinet portfolio once more a year later.