20 March 2008

Rafidah is out but not without a fight......

Malaysia's former trade minister Rafidah Aziz expressed hurt Wednesday over being dropped from the new post-election cabinet after two decades in the job.

Rafidah said PM Pat Lah had told her of the decision only hours before it was announced, and that she was given no reason for being ousted.

"I wish Pak Lah had told me earlier on not to contest. He allowed me to contest. But I am also a human being," she said, using the prime minister's nickname.

However, the firebrand political veteran put on a brave face over the decision, saying she would now have more time to spend with her family and as head of the ruling party's influential women's wing.

"Thirty two years in government service and 20 years as minister, I am blessed and content," she said.

"I am so happy I served for so long, it's nothing to feel down about."


Pat Lah would have retained Rafidah as a minister in the gomen if BN had won by a large margin and attained its 2/3 majority in Parliament. However,things didnt work out as expected, BN almost lost, and only with the help of Sabah and Sarawak, BN scrapped thru with a simple majority. A few senior ministers were trounced in their quest, that includes Samy Vellu, Zainuddin Maidin, Shahrizat Jalil, Kayveas, etc., however, what more humiliating is the lost of 5 states and the Federal Territory to the Opposition. Rafidah has been the Wanita chief since 1984, apart for one term from 1996 to 1999 when she lost to Siti Zaharah Sulaiman. For the first time the Wanita wing has no representatives in the cabinet.

Fearing more backlash, Pat Lah played safe by not including the AP queen and 7 other ex-ministers in his 2008 cabinet. Pat Lah feels that these ministers are more of a liability rather than an asset to his gomen. Pat Lah also took this opportunity to exclude many of Najib's men and instead placed a number of Khairy's goon instead, though the SIL wasnt given any cabinet post. This is Pat Lah's "UMNO AGM" cabinet, that is so precisely charted to ensure his victory in the upcoming party election later this year.

Knowing Rafidah, do you think this AP queen is going to take it without a fight? Sharizat Jalil was included at the very last minute after a protest by Wanita UMNO, but only as advisor to her former ministry with ministerial status.

Why did Rafidah decided not to give up her post, though rumours has it that she wanted to resign from her Ketua Wanita post earlier? According to some sources, she is not going to allow Azalina, the Tourism minister or any other Puteri UMNO leaders walk away with the Ketua Wanita post in the upcoming party elections later this year. They have this strained relationship for years and Rafidah thinks that Puteri UMNO is undermining Wanita UMNO's role.

Will Rafidah team up with Mukhriz and Ku Li, as Ku Li has already made his intention to mount a challenge against Pat Lah for the UMNO leadership?

Its anyone guess.....


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