KUALA LUMPUR, 25 March 2009: Wanita Umno has identified three core changes which it will implement in line with the election of the movement’s new leadership, newly-elected Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said.
Shahrizat said the transformations covered aspects like injecting new enthusiasm among Wanita members at all levels; ensuring issues related to women, family and community are looked into; and forging closer relations with Wanita movements of Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties.
Speaking to reporters just moments after she was announced the winner in the contest for the Wanita Umno chief post, Shahrizat said the changes would be carried out in stages so as not to jolt members.
“I don’t want to force changes in ‘electricity shock’ dosage but rest assured, we will implement them.
“We will discuss and come up with suitable plans. I will come up with action and strategic plans for Wanita Umno,” said Shahrizat who defeated incumbent chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz in a dramatic tussle for the movement’s top post.
On her victory, Shahrizat, who polled 507 votes against Rafidah’s 280, said she was quite surprise at the huge majority.
It however showed that the delegates had voted according to the wishes of the grassroots in wanting to see changes in the party, she said.
Shahrizat said, “It is clear that the time for change has come and we will institute changes in the party together with other leaders of Umno.”
“We will give undivided support to incoming president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and we shall be his source of strength and his army. I will work hard for the party, together with 1.3 million Wanita members,” she said.
Earlier in her victory speech, Shahrizat paid tribute to Rafidah and said that the new leadership would want her to continue contributing to the movement.
“Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and the previous leadership are still needed in spurring the movement to greater heights.
“Let me say it here that as an Umno member for nearly 30 years, I have not known any other leaders other than Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. I learned a lot from her and I hope that this victory is also a victory for Tan Sri Rafidah,” she said.
She said proactive steps would be taken to close ranks with defeated members to ensure that the movement remained united.
Shahrizat said she and vice-chief Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim would act as soon as possible to foster unity among members.
“I also want to be a leader respected and adored by all and I will not sideline anyone,” she said.
“As long as I am the Wanita Umno chief, believe me, there will be places for all. I don’t want to hear any more talks about this team or that team.”
She also said the victory was a huge responsibility as Rafidah had left a huge legacy to follow.
“It is therefore incumbent upon me to do my job to the best of my ability,” she said, adding that Rafidah had also set a very high standard for her to emulate. — Bernama