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Shahrir hands in quit letter (Updated)

(Updated 11:122pm, 1 April 2009)

PUTRAJAYA, 1 April 2009: Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad handed in his resignation letter as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the cabinet meeting here today.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting at the Perdana Putra building here, Shahrir said his resignation as a cabinet minister is effective on 8 April.

Abdullah, who will relinquish his post to his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, chaired the meeting for the last time.

Shahrir decided to step down as a cabinet minister after he failed to defend his seat in the Umno supreme council on 26 April.

He was one of six ministers who failed to win in the recent Umno elections. The others are Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Shahrir said the cabinet had discussed his letter of resignation but in principle, all ministers unanimously agreed to remain in the cabinet until the new line-up was announced.

Asked whether Abdullah had accepted his resignation, Shahrir said, “Pak Lah will no longer be the prime minister on 8 April and all ministers decided to remain in the cabinet until the new line-up is announced.”

Asked whether he had anticipated that he would be dropped from the cabinet, he said, “It is merely a speculation that I can work with Pak Lah and not with Najib (incoming prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak).

“It is not correct. I am a party man. I can work with anybody.”

Dismissing a suggestion that he was sulking over being unable to retain the supreme council seat, he said he was satisfied as he had been able to help the people during his tenure as minister.

Asked whether he would accept a cabinet post if he was offered by Najib, he said, “Let me wait for the right time (to comment). It is better if I am not appointed. I can still play my role as Member of Parliament for Johor Baru.” — Bernama

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