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I must admit I am sick and tired of the antics of Shahrizat Jalil, the soon to be the ex- Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. After months of holding on to her cabinet post made possible through her appointment as a senator ( not as an elected member of parliament), she finally announced a few days ago and just a day before her husband, the embattled chairman of the infamous National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) a cattle farming project, was charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) and embezzlement, that she would resign on April 8 2012.

Who is she kidding? April 8 as many of us know is the expiry date of her tenure as a senator and would be due for either extension or termination. Owing to mounting public criticisms of her link with her family in the NFC Cowgate scandal, PM Najib is not expected to renew her appointment even though a week before this Shahrizat was still hoping that her senatorship would be extended when she said, “I leave it to the PM to decide”. Nowhere did she say she would decide on her future as a senator at an appropriate time.

She stuck to her guns despite many people calling for her resignation, among them are the ex-Prime Minister Dr Mahathir and her predecessor in the UMNO women’s wing, Rafidah Aziz and some party backbenchers. Even pro-UMNO bloggers are putting pressure on her to withdraw from her cabinet post as well as party posts to avoid further embarrassment to the party. And yet she puts her personal interests above the party by her refusal to step down.

Shahrizat Jalil-Thumbs up for recalcitrance

Our recalcitrant lady ignored all these calls and maintained she had nothing to do with NFC which is managed by her family. She is virtually saying she doesn’t know about the luxury apartments, the luxury cars and other business deals made by her husband and children using the fund from the RM250m government’s soft loan meant for cattle rearing. She is saying she is left in the dark regarding the going ons in NFC. Tsk…tsk…tsk..if we believe her then there is something wrong with our sense of reasoning and of morality.

Anyway all the above story are common knowledge and I am sorry to have repeated them ad nauseum. What I am unhappy about is the fact that the news of her husband being charged was carried by the international media and guess what is the headline? All those news media carried this headline “Malaysian Minister’s husband charged for corruption (graft)”… AFP,BBC,Jakarta Globe,Reuter,Irrawaddy News, Bangkok Post, India Times…. all have the same headline, you can check it out yourself here.

If the Malaysian cabinet does not feel internationally embarrassed, I don’t know what kind of people they are. It would have been better if the headline were “Malaysian ex-Minister’s husband charged for corruption”. The recalcitrance of Shahrizat Jalil has inadvertently brought the whole cabinet into focus on corrupt practices at the international level.

Thank you very much Shahrizat because you have just brought shame to Malaysians in the eye of the world. Shame because we elected those people in the cabinet but we certainly did not elect you,Shahrizat, during the last general election in 2008.

Responses by various party colleagues from PM Najib to Hishamuddin Hussein, Noh Omar, MB of Perak and others saying that she sacrificed herself for the sake of the party by resigning are pathetically awkward and shamelessly twisted double talks. Only Rafidah the ex-minister of International Trade called a spade, a spade. She lashed out at Shahrizat’s announced “resignation” on the last day of her senatorship’s tenure as a sham. Resignation means before April 8 and not on the date. Her obstinacy is almost psychopathic.

And yes, she wanted to stay on as UMNO Women Wing Head… Good luck to UMNO. The opposition is smiling gleefully on her poor judgement. Since she is elected as Head she said she would continue in the capacity. I wonder whether she would resign as the minister had she been an elected member of parliament!

There are still more than 21 days from today before April 8 for Shahrizat to properly resign otherwise she is making an art of recalcitrance seems like a monstrous virtue.

To me,however, Shahrizat should have resigned from all her party posts before her husband was charged in open court and spare Malaysia of international embarrassment.


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