Shahrizat speaks up, confirms appointment at Prime Minister’s Department
"I am the adviser at the Prime Minister's Department,” she said in a text message to The Malaysian Insider today.
Her response came soon after the current Minister, Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim, had said Shahrizat had nothing to with her ministry.
"Well, she's not an adviser to my ministry," Rohani had told the press at the Women’s Summit 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur
However, Shahrizat refused to elaborate on her role.
Rohani’s remarks today distancing the ministry from Shahrizat had raised questions on how the Wanita Umno chief would function in such a role.
However, whatever reservation Rohani may have on the appointment, the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia (NAWEM) congratulated Shahrizat.
“As the former Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, she has contributed much to mainstreaming women’s issues into government and the private sector. We are appreciative that with her leadership the country’s constitution was amended to forbid discrimination based on gender,” it said.
The Star online had reported yesterday that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had appointed Shahrizat, who had helmed Rohani's ministry previously, as his special adviser on women's affairs.
The Star online in its report yesterday said Shahrizat has been appointed a special adviser to the prime minister to oversee the development of women entrepreneurs and professionals.
It is understood the appointment was effective from August 15.
However, the Wanita Umno chief was tight-lipped when met at the wing’s Hari Raya open house at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.
Najib said yesterday there would be no announcement on the matter yet.
“So, just leave it as it is,” he said after attending the Finance Ministry’s Hari Raya open house.
If the appointment goes through, this would be the second time that Shahrizat is appointed as special adviser to the prime minister.
Her first appointment in 2008 was made by then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after she lost her Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat in the general election that year.
Shahrizat, who has been Wanita chief since 2009 when she defeated Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, will face a challenge for the post from former Puteri Umno chief and Pengerang MP Datuk Azalina Othman Said at the coming Umno polls.
She was appointed a senator, followed by a Cabinet position the following year.
She stepped down as minister last year after the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) controversy erupted and did not contest in the 13th general election in May. - August 20, 2013.