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Mar 22, 2008


Rafidah not sure about Azalina’s Wanita status
KUALA LUMPUR: With Wanita Umno maintaining that the wing is not represented in the new Cabinet, the status of Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said is being questioned.

Is she a member of Wanita Umno? Azalina is certain she is, but Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz is unsure.

Light moment: (Front row, from left:) Wanita wing deputy chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Rafidah sharing a light moment with other Wanita Umno exco members in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Rafidah, who was dropped from the new Cabinet line-up on Tuesday, said she had no idea which Umno branch Azalina belonged to.
“They can’t just come out from the sky. They must belong to a branch. Everyone has a branch or a division somewhere,” she told reporters after chairing a Wanita Umno exco meeting yesterday.

Azalina, the former Puteri Umno chief, countered that a Puteri member automatically became a Wanita member once she attained the Puteri age limit.

“I am the Penggerang Umno division deputy chief and as such the question of whether I am a Wanita member or not does not arise. I am an Umno member appointed as minister.

“According to the (Puteri) Constitution, Puteri members who have passed the age limit automatically become Wanita members,” she told reporters at her ministry yesterday.

The age limit for Puteri Umno chief is 40. It is 35 for other Puteri posts.

Rafidah, the former International Trade and Industry Minister, accepted that this was the case, but stressed that a Wanita member must be in a branch or division.

She said there was no need to make a stand on the issue because it was an individual matter.

“I do not jaga hal orang (am not a busybody). Individuals are not relevant. What is important is support for the party leadership,” she said.

Following the new Cabinet line-up announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Wanita Umno expressed disappointment that no member from the wing had been appointed.

Azalina then said that she should be viewed as the Wanita Umno representative.


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