KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former minister Shahrizat Jalil announced on Saturday (June 23) she is relinquishing all posts in Malaysia's largest party Umno and is quitting politics after nearly four decades.
Tan Sri Shahrizat, 64, the outgoing chief of Umno's powerful women's wing, said she will be an ordinary Umno member.
"In politics, we need to realise when we should step down. I have been in this field for a long time. It is time to give way to those who are younger. I have worked with many Wanita members and many are capable to lead.
"I am confident that I am leaving the Wanita wing to the best candidate," she told reporters after casting her vote at polls to elect the heads of Umno's youth, women and young women's wings.
Madam Shahrizat has not run as a candidate in the last two general elections, after she became embroiled in the so-called cows-and-condo scandal.
The scandal erupted in 2010 after the Auditor-General's report revealed that the National Feedlot Corp (NFC), owned by her husband Mohamad Salleh Ismail had failed to breed 8,000 head of cattle on its farm in Negeri Sembilan, as envisaged in the RM250 million (S$85 million) government project. Opposition MPs claimed millions from the project was instead siphoned off to buy luxury apartments.
Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh was in 2015 acquitted of criminal breach of trust charges involving RM49.7 million.
Madam Shahrizat, who was Women, Family and Community Development Minister for 11 years, said among her achievements then was getting Article 8 of the Federal Constitution amended to prohibit gender discrimination.
"Many laws were audited to ensure the rights and interests of women are protected. This is my biggest contribution," she said.
The former Lembah Pantai MP also congratulated current Women, Family and Community Development Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, adding that she is proud of her achievements despite coming from a different party.
Madam Shahrizat wished Datuk Seri Wan Azizah the best of luck, adding that she hopes Dr Wan Azizah will succeed in helming the ministry.