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No storm in party: Shahrizat

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 April 2009: Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today dismissed perceptions of turmoil in the wing, following the appointment of three Wanita division heads to central posts for the 2008/2011 term.

She said it was her prerogative to make the appointments and that they were also based on several criteria.

“There is no storm in Wanita Umno. Realistically, we need one or two months to let everyone settle down and get used to the new leadership,” she told reporters after chairing a Wanita Umno executive council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

On 16 April, Shahrizat announced the appointment of Hulu Selangor Wanita division head Rosni Sohar as assistant secretary, Sembrong (Johor) Wanita division head Noraslina Zainal Abidin as assistant treasurer and Gopeng (Perak)Wanita division head as Wanita information chief.

Shahrizat, who is also women, family and community development minister, said some quarters could have been disappointed with her decision but added that the movement’s executive council members reacted positively to the matter at the meeting today.

“I expected some of them to ask me why I appointed this person and not another, but nobody questioned me so it shows that they understand as they are politicians,” she said.

Shahrizat said there were many in the 1.3 million Wanita Umno members who possessed calibre, qualification and leadership skills.

“Unfortunately, I was only given the authority to appoint the secretary, treasurer, information chief, state liaison chief and their deputies, so I had to choose among the 1.3 million Wanita members,” she said.

She said the decision made was a reflection of the principles she believed in, and that no one person was more important than the other.

“Whatever we do, it must be for the 1.3 million members and to enhance the party.”

Shahrizat said she also had to consider several other factors to realise Wanita Umno’s vision and mission for change and improvement.

Asked on Wanita Umno’s standpoint on the Penanti by-election, she said the movement agreed with what was decided by Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“We will be ready, should we send a candidate. No one should underestimate the country’s democratic process,” she said.

Shahrizat was also asked about her relationship with her predecessor, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

“We will try to meet Tan Sri (Rafidah) because we deeply appreciate her contributions and find a way to forge closer ties between us,” she said.

At the meeting today, Wanita Umno discussed the wing’s three core struggles covering politics, law and women’s economic development, she said. — Bernama

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