Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shahrizat now wants to be ROB MODEL for women

KUALA LUMPUR - The victories of Shahrizat Jalil and Khairy Jamaluddin have been hailed as signs that Umno members wanted stability and a 'balanced' leadership over the right-wingers in the party led by former premier Mahathir Mohamad.
The BN media described the victories as a thumbs-up for Prime Minister Najib Razak's 'moderate' approach.
Yet it is hard to draw the line between the hawks and doves in Umno as the party's overriding policy across all factions is to secure and entrench Malay 'supremacy' over all the other races in the country.
It is telling that during Najib's stewardship of Umno and Malaysia, both have seen the worst episodes of racism and racial bullying, religious bigotry and religious bullying.
And just weeks ago, Najib reneged on his own reform program, introducing further affirmative action policies that granted special economic aid to the Malays at the expense of the minorities.
He was accused of taking the drastic step so as to gain the favor of the party's 'hardliners' and to ensure his lieutenants including Shahrizat and Khairy secured a safe passage.
Endorsement for corruption, talent vacuum
The political Opposition saw the return of Shahrizat and Khairy as an endorsement for the continuation of Umno's corrupt policies.
Shahrizat, re-elected as the Wanita or Women's chief, is known for her Cow-gate financial scandal while Khairy, re-elected as the Youth chief, has often been called the country's wealthiest unemployed 30-something in a reference to the days when he was left out of the Cabinet.
"Both were returned because there was no real competition. They were basically facing a batch of unknowns. Firstly, this underscores Umno's shocking lack of talent. It is the first danger sign for the party. Secondly, those who contested like Sanusi's son Akhramsyah, were hardly impressive. Even before they are in power, these young competitors were using race and religion to win. They also didn't have the national reach and monetary resources that Khairy and Shahrizat had," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
"Khairy and Shahrizat will also use the race and religion card when it suits them - remember Khairy is the one who waved the keris with Hisham. They threatened the non-Malays. So what 'progressive' is Khairy talking about? As for corruption, this is Umno culture - whether the president is Mahathir, Badawi or Najib. Look at figures and you can see that the biggest corruption actually took place during Najib's past 5 years. Even Shahrizat dares to openly say, who in BN has no 'problems'? So this is the status quo in Umno. It is bad for Umno and a tragedy for Malaysia."
Cow-gate role model for women?
Nonetheless, flushed by her success, Shahrizat insisted she wanted to be a role model for women.
"Over the last two years, because of the tragedy I had to go through, I developed my inner strength. I know what I did not do - that's why I soldiered on because I want to be a role model for women who thinks life is hopeless when it is not," Malaysiakini reported her as saying.
"I want them to think of Kak Ijat. I want to be that role model."
Shahrizat was referring to the RM250 million NFC debacle, where her husband and family have been charged for criminal breach of trust. Few in Malaysia have any doubt that the family will manage to escape serious convictions.
It is also worth noting that Najib was said to have personally intervened on Shahrizat's behalf by getting Azalina Othman, the former Tourism minister and Puteri chief, to drop out of the contest for the top Women's post.
Shahrizat's challengers were Raihan Sulaiman Palestin, an obscure grassroots leader, and Maznah Mazlan, who is basically a 'retiree' and former minister.
"Progressive thought" at whim and fancy
As for Khairy, he has hailed his victory as an endorsement for "progressive thought".
"If the win is a big win, it confirms that in some way I have succeeded in bringing progressive thought that has defeated the conservative forces in Umno," said Khairy.
"I see the election this time as a battle between progressive thinking in our party and my opponents who unfortunately brought regressive thinking that is backward. So for me, if I succeed and is (officially) given the mandate by the grassroots, I feel this confirms that my approach and progressive thought is accepted by the grassroots."
Unofficial results show Khairy has bagged at least 115 of 191 divisions, and may pull off a clean sweep. Umno is due to release the full results later today.
His challengers were Syed Rosli Syed Harman, Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, Irwan Ambak Khalid Izhar dan Abd Karim Ali.
Despite Khairy's talk about being "progressive", he refused to take a stand or even comment on the recent 'shoot-first' debacle involving Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, and also voted for the draconian Prevention of Crime Act 1959 that allows for suspects to be imprisoned for indefinite periods of time without trial.

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