KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today took issue with Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz’s recent criticism of the party leadership, and reminded her predecessor of how she used to preach the importance of loyalty in her 22 years as wing leader.
Shahrizat said she was baffled by Rafidah’s Facebook comments on recent political developments in the country, particularly on the Kedah crisis, and said the remarks showed the former Kuala Kangsar MP had abandoned her own principles.
“In the 22 years that Rafidah helmed Wanita Umno, we were constantly reminded to always stay disciplined and loyal to the party leadership, especially to the president.
“But this principle appears to have been abandoned; she is openly defying the leadership of our president and creating all sorts of perceptions and assumptions about issues faced by the party and the country’s leadership,” Shahrizat wrote on her Facebook page.
“It is unfortunate that Tan Sri Rafidah, once so highly principled, is now ensnared in the opposition’s game to weaken the party,” she added.
The politician said, however, that under her leadership, Wanita Umno will continue to remain loyal to party president and prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
She insisted that Najib cares about the party and the Malaysian electorate despite the challenges he currently faces.
“Wanita Umno’s loyalty to the president and the party is not so easily shaken,” she said.
Rafidah has been taking to Facebook to express concern about the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno leaderships’ handling of recent controversies.
Yesterday, the veteran Umno politician spoke about the Kedah crisis, saying the drama was reflective of a political culture of self-interest and greed.
She also said that an individual cannot be automatically considered a leader simply by dragging someone else down from a post.
It is believed she was commenting on Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s unceremonious removal from the Kedah mentri besar’s seat this week.
The two-week leadership crisis in Kedah came to a close on Wednesday when Mukhriz resigned from his post as mentri besar following a revolt in Umno against his leadership.
The first-term mentri besar relinquished his post in a press conference where he explained that he was stepping down because the Kedah Regency Council had confirmed to him that he had lost the support of the majority in the 36-seat state legislative assembly.
The council had on Monday and Tuesday called separate meetings with the state’s assemblymen to gauge their support for Mukhriz.
Kedah Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah drew first blood on January 20 when he led a delegation of 14 Umno division chiefs, state and federal lawmakers to call for removal of Mukhriz at a press conference in Alor Setar.
Among the reasons given for their discontent was Mukhriz’s purported failure to govern the state, to unite the party and his lack of strategy for the next general election in 2018.
Ahmad Bashah was sworn in yesterday as Mukhriz’s replacement.Shahrizat has no right to comment on Rafidah as her husband is embroiled in the NFC fiasco.
Without her, he would be behind bars by now, buy instead he can sue whistleblowers.