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Mar 19, 2008

RAFIDAH AZIZ Still Hunger for Power


Rafidah Aziz said she will not relinquish her Umno Wanita chief post in the wake of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s decision not to include her in the new cabinet line-up.

rafidah pc 190308 rafidah aziz"I will not resign, I will continue to head the Wanita (wing)," she told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

The former international trade and industry minister said she would have considered quitting if she had lost in the March 8 polls. Rafidah had retained her Kuala Kangsar parliamentary seat.

Rafidah also expressed shock for being excluded from the cabinet line-up and wished Abdullah had informed her about this earlier.

She was replaced by Muhyiddin Yasin in the key cabinet post which she had held since 1986.

The veteran politician also confirmed that she had penned a 16-page letter to the prime minister after Barisan Nasional’s disastrous performance in the elections.

However, she declined to reveal the content of the letter, saying that it was personal.

Rafidah also said it is up to Wanita Umno members if they want to send a protest note to Abdullah on the absence of any leaders from the wing in the new cabinet.

rafidah pc 190308 laughingEarlier, speculations were rife that the 65-year-old politician would quit her post.

Abdullah did not offer any reason for dropping Rafidah from the cabinet. He however said that it was time for someone new to replace her.

Rafidah has been the Wanita chief since 1984 - apart for one term from 1996 to 1999 when she lost to Siti Zaharah Sulaiman.

This is the first time the Wanita wing has no representatives in the cabinet.

Rafidah's deputy Shahrizat Abdul Jalil was defeated in her Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat and had her cabinet post at the women, family and community development given to Dr Ng Yen Yen.

However Abdullah yesterday named Shahrizat as his special adviser on women and family matters, giving her the same status as a minister.


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