Shahrizat’s Resignation: Rafidah Should Look in the Mirror


by Zamiel Geta Hussaini

In an article in the Daily Express published today, former Wanita Umno head Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz stated that, in her opinion, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s announcement of stepping down as Women, Family and Community Development Minister sounds hollow. Rafidah called Shahrizat’s resignation announcement as a “sham of a statement” for she stated that Sharizat is not resigning on April 8, it is just that her senatorship expires that day and her ministerial post automatically lapses.

I would like to suggest to Rafidah to look at herself in the mirror, not in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves fashion, but in the reality check fashion. She was at the center of the approved permit (AP) scandal back in 2005 when she was dubbed as the ‘AP Queen’.

In fact, there was a dispute between former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Rafidah when she was International Trade and Industry Minister over the Approved Permits (AP) controversy. It was Dr Mahathir who alleged that Rafidah was involved in the misuse and abuse of tens of thousands of APs worth billions of ringgit given to the few ‘AP Kings’.

Rafidah herself refused to resign over the issue and it was only three years later in March 2008 – right after the 12th General Election – that she was dropped from the cabinet by then prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi. So who is Rafidah to ask Shahrizat to step down when she herself took to the same typically Umno’s brazenly unapologetic routine? Former US Vice President Adlai Stevenson once said – “A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.” I would say that in Rafidah’s case it’s hypocrisy at its worst.