Umno Women's leader Shahrizat Jalil quits politics

KUALA LUMPUR • Former minister Shahrizat Jalil announced yesterday that she is relinquishing all posts in Malaysia's largest party Umno and is quitting politics after serving for 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 regarding NFC and involving RM49.7 million.

Madam Shahrizat was Women, Family and Community Development Minister for 11 years.

"Many laws were audited to ensure the rights and interests of women are protected. This is my biggest contribution," she said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 24, 2018, with the headline 'Umno Women's leader Shahrizat Jalil quits politics'. Print Edition | Subscribe