Legal Counsel accuses Rafizi and Zuraida of taking pot shots

·       incessant scathing and malicious attacks aimed at creating public outrage

·       Politically motivated by duo designed at bringing down minister and Wanita UMNO Chief

KUALA LUMPUR — Lead legal counsel Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said today that PKR Strategy Director Rafizi Ramli and PKR Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin had orchestrated a series of scathing and malicious attacks on Wanita UMNO Chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil with the objective of gaining political mileage in connection with NFC.

Rafizi Ramli and Zuraida Kamarudin are being sued by Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil for defamation and slander. The legal suit is being heard in the Kuala Lumpur High Court before Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

In her statement of claims, Datuk Seri Shahrizat said, “I believe that the Opposition calculated and designed to make me the primary target of their attacks. It has never been about getting to the truth of the NFC matters.

“It is more their grand design to discredit and malign me as a politician, Minister and Barisan Nasional leader.

“If you review the statements and allegations made concerning the NFC, the Defendants do not seem interested in the response by NFC itself but more concerned with getting my response simply because I happen to be married to the Chairman of the NFC.”

Datuk Seri Shahrizat is married to NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Ismail, a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from the University of South Bank London and also a Ph.D in Food Science from Cornell University, New York, USA. They have three children, Wan Shahinur Izmir, Wan Shahinur Izran and Wan Izzana Fatimah Zabedah.

“This kind of collateral culpability is simply an abuse to take ‘pot shots’ at me and the Barisan Nasional party,” she said of her political foes.

“Yes, I have explained that the NFC is owned by my husband and my children and has nothing to do with me or my position or my duties as Minister For Women and Family and Community Development nor does it have anything to do with the fact that I am Ketua Wanita UMNO.

“The NFC is a commercial project and I was never involved in the approval process or the running of the Company.

“You will see why I say that there is an objective of gaining political mileage in view of the impending General Elections. That is why the Defendants have focused all the accusations primarily on me as a Minister and Ketua Wanita.

“I should not be held responsible on matters which do not concern me or the Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development or that of Wanita UMNO.”

Allegations against Datuk Seri Shahrizat and her family were on the headlines of newspapers and Internet news portals almost daily for several months.

“As a cabinet minister and Ketua Wanita Barisan Nasional, such allegations are highly damaging and will cause irreparable damage to my reputation. In fact, the Defendants went on an orchestrated hate campaign,” she said.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat added that the Defendants deliberately sensationalised and spun this matter until it became “the talk of town”. Friends, family members and colleagues said that the allegations against her had even transcended overseas in newspapers and media in countries like Singapore and the United Kingdom.


Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil received her early education from the Northam Road Girls’ School and Madrasah Tarbiah Islamiah. She attended secondary education at St. George’s Girls’ School Penang and Tengku Kursiah College in Negeri Sembilan. She went on to read law at the University of Malaya where she qualified with a Bachelor of Laws or LLB. In 1980, Datuk Seri Shahrizat was admitted to the High Court of Malaya as an advocate and solicitor. She served the Judicial and Legal Services from 1977 to 1980 as a magistrate and subsequently Assistant Treasury Solicitor. She later ventured into private practice in 1980 and was a partner with a legal firm known as Messrs Soo Thien Ming & Shahrizat. However, in 1993, she established and founded her own legal firm known as Messrs Shahrizat & Tan. This firm is today known as Messrs Shahrizat Rashid & Lee.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat was invited to sit on the board of various public listed companies and in 1986 she was the first Malaysian woman to be appointed as the Chairman of two public listed companies, namely Island & Peninsular Berhad and Austral Enterprises Berhad. She then joined Wanita UMNO in 1982 and was later appointed as Ketua Wanita UMNO for the Kepong Baru Division. She was fielded for the 1995 General Election, chosen as a candidate for the Barisan Nasional in the Lembah Pantai constituency and was successfully elected Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai. She retained her seat in Lembah Pantai in the 1999 and 2004 General Elections.

In 2001, she became a member of the Cabinet when she was appointed as the first minister for the Women and Family Development Ministry. In 2004, the Ministry was expanded to be Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. Thereafter, she also was appointed as acting Federal Territory Minister between 2005 to 2006.

Although she lost her seat in the 2008 General Elections, the Honourable Prime Minister appointed her as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Women and Social Development with ministerial status. Thereafter, in 2009, she was appointed as a member of the Senate and re-appointed as the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development. 

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil is Ketua Pergerakan Wanita UMNO Malaysia in 2009, a movement with more than 1.3 million members and she holds this position todate.