Shahrizat still harbours hope of contesting

The Wanita Umno chief says the prime minister will decide on her candidacy and adds that her primary focus now is to deliver the votes for Umno.

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, FMT

Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who was forced to quit as a minister following the NFC scandal, is still harbouring hope of being fielded as a candidate in the next general election.

Despite the prospects appearing bleak, she downplayed the uncertainty of her political future, saying that she was only focusing on delivering the votes for Umno.

Observers believe that the RM250 million scandal had raised doubts if the former minister would be picked to run in the polls while her future as Wanita chief was also said to be under threat.

Shahrizat, however, said it was ultimately up to Umno president and prime minister Najib Tun Razak to decide on her candidacy.

“I don’t see why I shouldn’t offer myself as a candidate (but) what is important is that I am focusing on delivering the votes to Umno.

“And only, maybe, by doing this the president will see my importance,” she told reporters after opening the wing’s annual general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

In her speech earlier, Shahrizat said Wanita vowed to be the backbone of the party’s election machinery as Umno was set to face a strong opposition in what would be its toughest election to date.

But even Umno insiders claimed that support for her in Wanita was withering after some, including her influential predecessor Rafidah Aziz, described her as a liability to the wing.

Divided Wanita

Shahrizat was forced to step down as minister after her family members were accused of swindling taxpayers’ money meant for a national cattle breeding project but she had so far maintained that she had no direct link to the issue.