Sharizat to contest Wanita Umno chief post

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Former minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil is expected to contest the Wanita Umno chief post in the coming party polls, according to sources.

“Her representative will submit the nomination papers to the Umno headquarters tomorrow,” a party source told Malaysiakini.

When contacted, several sources close to Shahrizat confirmed the matter. Malaysiakini has also reached out to the former minister for comment.

Shahrizat, who had held the Wanita Umno chief post since 2009, decided not to seek re-election in the 2018 Umno polls.

At the time, the 69-year-old politician said she chose to withdraw from the race due to the public’s desire to see change in Umno as well as to give younger leaders the opportunity to helm the wing.

“In politics, we need to realise when we should step down. I have been in this field for a long time. It is time to give way to those who are younger. I have worked with many Wanita members, and many are capable of leading.

“I am confident that I am leaving the Wanita wing to the best candidate,” she had told reporters then.

In the 2008 general election, Sharizat suffered a shock defeat at the hands of PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar in the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat, which she had held since 1995.

Since then, the former women, family and community development minister never contested in the general election.

However, the then-prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed her as the special adviser to the prime minister for women and social development affairs.

Her family was later implicated in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal, but MACC cleared Shahrizat of any involvement.

Previously, incumbent Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad confirmed that she would defend the post.

Meanwhile, sources told Malaysiakini that Shahrizat’s decision to enter the ring again was because of the internal conflict in Wanita Umno due to the dissatisfaction with Noraini’s leadership. – Malaysiakini