Was Shahrizat’s act really a sacrifice?

by Kee Thuan Chye
March 14, 2012

Shahrizat did not ‘resign’. She knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too.

Let’s get this right. Shahrizat Abdul Jalil did not, in the strict sense of the word, resign. She merely chose to relinquish her position as Women, Family and Community Development Minister just a little ahead of April 8, when her senatorship would expire.

And her guess was probably as good as many people’s that her senatorship would not be extended, given that she’s now a liability to her party, Umno.

Ever since the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal broke out, she has been hounded for the fact that the company belongs to her family. Despite her claims that she had nothing to do with how the NFCorp got a RM250 million soft loan from the government while she was a member of the Cabinet, few people actually believe her.

So, if her senatorship were to be extended, Umno’s chances at the coming general election would have been severely impaired.

So no, she did not ‘resign’. She knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too.

The day after she made the announcement, her husband, NFCorp chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail was charged with criminal breach of trust and misuse of funds – to the tune of RM49.7 million. She might have known this was coming, so she chose to step down first.

So was her act a noble one?

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak came out to declare that it was. He said Shahrizat, in resigning, was sacrificing herself for the party and the government.

Pardon my Malaysian, but that’s bullshit.

What sacrifice is it when she has waited so long after the NFC scandal broke out last October before doing what she calls – believe it or not – “the right thing”? What sacrifice is it when she is ‘resigning’ just as her senatorship is about to expire?

Furthermore, why has she chosen to remain as Wanita Umno chief? Why doesn’t she resign from that position as well? If she did that, it might really be a sacrifice.

Big talk

The truth seems to be that her act is not wholehearted. After all, critics had been howling for her to step down for the last few months, but she had stood up against them. At the Wanita Umno assembly in late November, she came out fighting till she looked – in newspaper photographs – red in the face. She even literally rolled up her sleeves!

She insisted she had nothing to do with the NFC issue. “I do my job, my husband does his,” she said. “And he is not in the wrong.” The way the scandal has developed, one wonders if she still truly thinks the same.

She challenged PKR to ask its president, Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, to step down – because her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, had been found guilty and charged with offences “which I don’t even have the heart to say out loud”. She tried to deflect the issue at hand by casting the focus on somebody else.

She talked big and aggressive (a manner that has become de rigueur among many Umno politicians).

She said, “Thirty years I have served in Umno, and I am still strong. Women, the more they age the stronger they become.”

She added, mawkishly, “I believe every woman, mother and wife understands me and is crying with me.” But she must have been mistaken. If anyone cried, it was over her disregard for public accountability.

Shahrizat has not represented herself well at all in regard to the scandal. If she had shown humility, people might have been softer on her. So even now, as she hits her lowest ebb, her image has not improved.

Her colleagues, however, tried to make her smell like a bouquet of roses.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also her party’s vice-president and has a track record for saying inane things, said, “It is courageous of her to leave her ministerial post but at the same time be willing to lead the women’s wing.”

Courageous? For doing something before it was done to her?

He added, “It is a sacrifice … (because) she has not been linked legally to the NFC issue. It looks like she made her decision based on other aspects such as moral, political and personal considerations.”

That’s a contradiction. He’s actually saying she’s following her conscience even though there is no legal case against her involvement in the NFC. Well, if so, her stepping down is all the more NOT a sacrifice but an admission! After all, doing something on moral grounds in response to allegations already implies awareness of wrongdoing.

Public perception against Shahrizat

Puteri Umno chief Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin sounded like a schoolgirl when, in expressing sympathy for Shahrizat, she said the opposition had manipulated the NFC issue.

How do you manipulate something that is already there, that has been done? The opposition did not make the NFC misuse the loan from the government, it merely brought the case out in the open. That’s not manipulation.

Others who chipped in to sing Shahrizat’s praises included Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Noh Omar, Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi and Umno vice-president Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Unfortunately, Shahrizat’s name has come to be mixed so much with cow turd that no one can purge it of its stench.

The thing is, perception is often stronger than proof when it comes to politics, so for all that she and the others might say about her not having been involved in NFC – at least in its securing the RM250 million loan – the public jury has already decided the verdict.

The knowing ones among the public are also aware that this ‘resignation’ – packaged with the charging of her husband – is merely aimed at making her party look good. In time for the general election.

Voters might, however, want to take note that the NFC scandal has come about only because there is now an opposition that is strong and willing to expose the filth in Putrajaya. This is something to keep in mind when they go to the polling booths.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - 9:11 pm

    Yeah, what SACRIFICE? She was a LOSER in d last GE, not elected yet got appointed 2 b a minister through d back door, jalan BELAKANG, as a senator
    Now senatorship period is up, automatically will get KICKed OUT, mayb GO 2 JAIL
    If COWwitch really wants 2 sacrifice 4 her family, then face d STONES lor on their behalf, volunteer 2 b punished d Tali ban way

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - 9:47 pm

    Don’t be too harsh on the cowgirl lah,after all,who else now can provide sufficient milk from her and the condo-cows for this nation?

    Since there would not be enough cows left for the whole nation to suck and drink milk,why don’t we just stick with the ‘suckers’ to keep our stomach full?

  3. #3 by salam on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - 10:20 pm

    Bloody shame. Out there, there are so many deserving farmers who should be given the loan to rear their cows. I hear their plights almost everyday how they are deprived from government subsidies. These farmers have been rearing cows all their lives, to be fair with my statement about this scandal, yet only a few are given the chance. They don’t need 250 million to rear cows, if an opportunity were given to these deserving farmers, i can imagine a thriving cattle industry in Malaysia
    Why give a loan to ‘people’ who knows next to nothing about cattle rearing?

  4. #4 by salam on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - 10:46 pm

    There is so much discrimination in almost every government department. Why is it always about race. Why can’t we all unite whether we are Malay, Chinese or Indian as one nation and build this beautiful country of ours together. Why divide and discriminate the malays and non malays? Why discriminate when it comes to education, business, religion? Why is the goverment racist? Why should we pay more
    for a house from another Malaysian? Why? If the government can give us a a good reason, i will give you a vote.

  5. #5 by Bunch of Suckers on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 12:15 am

    As I said earlier, it was just a SHOW! She will be let off by back door without being charged!!! Election is coming, BN/UMNO suckers needs to act chauvinistically to win the Election…

  6. #6 by monsterball on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 1:13 am

    Who really cares she stays or resigns.
    She has no choice….and that’s her party business.
    Is is the RM300 million we are after.
    Come 13th GE…Najib should chose her to stand for election.
    That should be the “one for all and all for one” motto against traitors and rumor mongers.
    Najib lack smart advisers…how to win or loose like a man….not a mouse.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 1:30 am

    I dreamt he said……”Come Azizah ..stand against my Rosmah at Pekan…and I go over to Permantang Puah against Anwar”

  8. #8 by k1980 on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 6:56 am

    //Shahrizat did not ‘resign’. She knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too.//

    In 1974, Richard Nixon was forced to do the same. He did not ‘resign’. He knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 6:59 am

    Yeah, a real big SACRIFICE.

    Like Abraham (NOT Abraham Ali, Lord forbid!) about to sacrifice his son Issac when heard the voice of God saying, “Abraham, Stop! Do not hurt your son. You have proven your faith and shown how much you love Me by willing to sacrifice your son for Me. Therefore, I shall bless you and your family, and through you, I shall bless all the nations on earth”.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 8:39 am

    She so stupeed one…should had followed Chua SL’s example by resigning but insist on her son been appointed a senator and then inducted as a backdoor minister (like her)

  11. #11 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 8:51 am

    Oh yeah a big fat sacrifice indeed. Now that she has resigned, she clearly stands to lose all future benefits. This wot? 250m or is it 350m? lembu contract will be her last. In other words she would be on her own from now on and if she wants to be a billionaire she has to struggle like the rest of us. Poor thing!

  12. #12 by yhsiew on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 8:59 am

    She would be an Oscar winner for her convincing acting!

  13. #13 by Godfather on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:24 am

    Who paid for her umrah trips ? No answer. Who paid for the family’s shares in Meatworks, and other family enterprises ? No answer. Who paid for credit card expenses on family holiday ? No answer. Who supervised the renovation and ID of the Bangsar condos ? Who paid for these? No answer.

    As usual, it’s the dumb rakyat who pays while these rich UMNOputras cry in public about being victimised.

  14. #14 by Godfather on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:33 am

    Most of us remember that when the scandal first broke, the Kera Jantan was the first to jump to her defence. The Oxford graduate said it’s wise to use money for condo investment because you can get better returns. NFCorp then readily agreed, and said they would be showing the tenancy agreements on these condos. Where are the tenancy agreements now to demonstrate the yield on these investments ? There were no tenancy agreements. They were using the condos for family and friends. For UMNO buddies.

    Shahreezat can’t claim she doesn’t know who has been using the condos from time to time.

  15. #15 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:42 am

    I think the bigger issue is why so hard to get Shahrizat to resign and sent her to exile? She is no Rafidah Aziz and the details of Rafidah Aziz AP deals were a lot more vague and less damaging, yet Badawi, yes weak Badawi, got rid of her decisively.

    It points to a larger systematic disease of mediocrity in the leadership of UMNO-Perkasa/BN – a mediocrity entrenched by Mahathir with his brand of politics. From Najib to even the cawangan head, the leaders are mediocre and what is really wrong, this country and especially UMNO-Perkasa/BN face unprecedented and tectonic challanges.

    Ultimately what this is about really is that Its not just Najib that is not up to the challenge that face this nation going forward, its the entire creation of Mahathir that is not up to the challenge and we desperately need them to be.

  16. #16 by limkamput on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 9:57 am

    She is now not credible enough to be a cabinet minister, but surely she is still good enough to be UMNO Wanita head. It does indicate something about this depraved party. It is not just UMNO Wanita head; how many of the present top UMNO leaders have not had a chequered past?

  17. #17 by Godfather on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 10:38 am

    A purely hypothetical scenario. Let’s say she took a leaf from Rahim Thamby’s book and installed CCTVs in the condos. Let’s say she allows her UMNO colleagues to use those condos, and now she’s got tapes on who’s who coming to and going from those condos. Is that the meaning of “who in UMNO doesn’t have problems” ?

    The answer to this scenario is obviously about who escapes jail for the fraud committed.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 11:21 am

    Baginda sacrificed himself …protecting Najib..and went off…scot-free.
    Shahrizat sacrificed herself protecting PM and her party…and will also go off..scot-free.
    AP Queen..Rafidah sacrificed herself…for party..also went off scot-free.
    Tajuddin used by Mahathir for MAS..to steal billions…also went off scot-free PLUS rewarded with 1/2 billion compensation.
    Eric Cheah case on Berjaya Steel.. will go on and on…if he had not died.
    Abdullah Ang went to jail….as Mahathir’s small pawn and all knew he can go and come back to Kajang jailhouse like his 2nd home….in jail….but never jailed at all..just for show.
    But if Mahathir and Najib do not like you…like Toyo…then that guy is fried.
    Each case…and many more..these crooked leaders hope Malaysians will forget….and young new voters do not know.
    It’s clear as the sun will surely shine tomorrow…UMNO b party high profile members ..are all corrupted …and all must sacrifice if get caught…and vanish into thin air….including murders.

  19. #19 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 11:52 am

    Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know alright. One is not guilty until proven to be so. Yes. And I go by that too, honestly. So the cowgirl’s husband was charged in court a few days ago. He is still not guilty at this moment. Maybe he really is not guilty. But hey, wasnt he charged? Unless he is unfortunate like anwar and he got himself nicely framed by some political opponents in umno (raja petra pointed his finger at nong chik) then really the fact that charges were preferred means that the AG was satisfied that there are in existence good evidence of wrongdoing. Of course whether or not those good evidence are enough to show beyond reasonable doubt the cowgirl’s husband guilt is a matter strictly for the judge. I shall not venture into that. Doing so would be sub judice. So lets leave that to the court then. Now the point is this. Police were able to uncover evidence of wrongdoing and AG believed that those evidence are good enough to support those charges. Ha, there you are. That is the issue. The AG is happy with the evidence collected by the police. So who are those umno mudderphaarkers who openly supported the cowgirl when the scandal first broke open its cover?

  20. #20 by cseng on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 11:53 am

    //Pardon my Malaysian, but that’s bullshit.//-KTC

    No, not bullshitt, it is leadershitt, leadershitt under Najib.

  21. #21 by Winston on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 12:00 pm

    Mr Kee, that’s why it’s very important that the PR takes Putrajaya.
    Then, we’ll closure as far as the wild tales of UMNO/BN are concerned!
    Then, we’ll make her really sacrificed!
    Aztec style!!!

  22. #22 by jus legitimum on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 12:12 pm

    Umno leaders’de riguer ,talking big,being aggressive and also shamelessly thickskinned.Don’t we see all of them tainted with corruption but still behave as if nothing has happened. Mamaktir is the most outstanding example followed by tons of others.They become filthy rich through power abuse but they remain audacious and impudent.They think the public coffers is their private property.Sarizat and her family are the latest example of these people whose skin is as thick as elephant’s.

  23. #23 by tak tahan on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 1:57 pm

    /Shahrizat did not ‘resign’. She knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too./

    Oh really so?Is that all to it?The game is not over yet la.Actually Shacicak is so confident that she may go through another back door if BN win the coming GE.So you see-the game is not over yet according to her own perception-She probably might have some idea in her cowhead,say,of getting another ‘pakat-pakat’ grant to rear and breed sufficient buffalos to plough the fields in the case if bolehland goes bankrupt(matter of time) and could not afford high-tech equipment or machinary anymore.

    In order to checkmate Shacicak and BN’s game to continuously cheat us,the Rakyat and to steal Rakyat’s money,we must vote PR into Putrajaya to hold these culprits(moo and their ilk) accountable to their crimes.

  24. #24 by k1980 on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 2:24 pm

    Luckily she gets to keep the RM350million, else she has to look for a new job. Which of the following jobs best suit her?

    A. belly dancer
    B. sumo wrestler
    C. beef seller in marker
    D. tea lady in office

  25. #25 by tak tahan on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 2:40 pm

    E.cow dung cleaner.

  26. #26 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 15 March 2012 - 3:21 pm

    Ohhhhh my god.

    The World Universities Ranking 2011-2012 is out.

    All malaysian universities have fallen out of the radar screen of top 400 uni in the world!

    What an achievement.

    Jib Jib Boleh.
    Ros Ros Cantik.

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