Monday, December 22, 2008


Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz has decided to lead Wanita UMNO in the up-coming by-election in Kuala Trengganu, apparently oblivious to her Deputy Dato Seri Shahrizat Jalil, who claimed not to have been consulted of her boss’s decision. Many outsiders and even those within UMNO would see Rafidah’s decision as something quite unusual, and for Shahrizat to openly claim that she does not know, raises speculations that something is not quite right between the two personalities.

As the incumbent Wanita’s chief, Rafidah certainly has her way at decision making. I suppose what is worrying Shahrizat is that her boss decision may steal the limelight from her, as both are contenders for the Wanita UMNO chief post in the party’s election in March 2009. I suppose, what concerns Rafidah is to ensure a win for the BN’s candidate, and if her presence is anything but to boost the winning chance of the BN candidate, Shahrizat should warmly welcome Rafidah’s ‘good gesture’.

Shahrizat has had her opportunity to lead Wanita UMNO’s charge during the Permatang Pauh by-election which saw the BN candidate lost poorly to PKR Anwar Ibrahim. This losing experience must have haunted Shahrizat, and a win for the BN this time around is surely to boost Rafidah’s image in the up-coming party election. Shahrizat’s fear of a diminished support is understandable should BN retains its seat, and should she then lose to Rafidah in the party elections, all is lost for Shahrizat’s political career. Rafidah may even end up retaining her post for another full term, and a ministerial post awaits her too. This is a fact that Najib, who is tipped to assume the post of PM cannot willfully ignore.

While BN has already announced Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid as its candidate for the Kuala Trengganu by-election, the opposition has been late in doing likewise. Wan Ahmad’s nomination by Pak Lah, is seen as wanting to legitimized the former to his ministerial post, or is it a way of rewarding Wan Ahmad for being Pak Lah’s loyal political secretary?

BN should heed the lessons of the March 2008 General Elections, and the by-elections of Permatang Pauh. It is no longer the ‘heavenly promises’, but a candidate that is strong spiritually, free of corrupt practices, and a simpleton who can garner the support of the ordinary village folks by being people friendly. ‘Show offs’ and ‘boastful talk’, are no longer what the simple Trengganu kampung folk desires of their elected representative.

Posted at 09.50 am on Dec 22, 2008

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