KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Nov 2008: Members of the Wanita Umno executive council have unanimously agreed that there will be no contest for the movement’s top two posts during party elections in March next year.
They have also agreed that the leadership transfer from Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz to Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil will take place in June as planned.
However, executive council member Datuk Kamalia Ibrahim, who has secured enough nominations to contest the post of Wanita Umno vice chief currently held by Shahrizat, did not attend today’s meeting, which lasted about six hours.
Shahrizat, who has enough nominations to stand in the election for the top post but decided not to take on Rafidah, said: “I will take the initiative to negotiate with Datuk Kamilia together with Tan Sri Rafidah. I believe a wise decision can be reached.”
Speaking in a press conference after the Wanita Umno executive council meeting at Menara Dato’ Onn here, Rafidah said: “We had an in-depth discussion on the nominations. The executive council has agreed with the transition plan, which was decided earlier, and it will take place in June 2009.
“The executive council also stresses that there will be no contest for the posts of chief and vice chief. This has been discussed and decided upon to ensure solidarity within Umno.
“It will also help the Umno recovery process and for us to give strength to the party and also to the Umno president,” she said.
Shahrizat, who was present at the press conference, said she accepted the executive council’s decision today.
On the statement she issued yesterday that Rafidah should consider bringing forward the date of leadership transfer to March, Shahrizat explained that as a lawyer she was “just putting down her thoughts into words, taking into consideration the views of the grassroots”.
“I would like to focus my thoughts. I don’t think it is wrong at all. I drafted the press statement myself. So I want to share my thoughts but I’m not the kind of person to put myself above everything or anybody else.
“So I listen, I listen to the grassroot, I thanked them. I listen to what the executive council wants but most of all, I believe in the Tan Sri’s leadership.
“So, I say okay. This is for the good of the nation, for the party. Then I accept it,” she said. — Bernama