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Shahrizat should take my place in Pandan, says Rafizi

Published:  |  Modified:

It would be fitting for Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to make her electoral comeback in Pandan, the parliamentary seat of her former chief critic Rafizi Ramli.

The proposal came from none other than Rafizi himself, who was at the forefront of highlighting issues plaguing the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) – a government project which was awarded to Shahrizat's family – during the earlier part of this decade.

Rafizi said that should Shahrizat (photo) succeed him as the Pandan MP, it would help to soothe “old wounds.”

"I would like to invite her to contest in Pandan to heal old wounds. Not only will that 'immature boy' who dug up the NFC scandal no longer be around, but the Wanita Umno chief can snatch the seat (from the opposition).

"It will soothe old wounds because she will still be in politics, while I will be resting for at least five to 10 years," he said in a statement today.

The NFC scandal broke in 2011 following an auditor-general’s report concluding that the project was a flop and squandered the RM250 million government soft loan it was granted.

Following this, the spotlight fell on Shahrizat's family, because the company was run by her husband and aided by her children.

The contract was awarded at a time when Shahrizat was still a cabinet member.

Eventually, her husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, was charged with misappropriating RM49.7 million that was meant for the NFC project. The sum was used to purchase luxury properties, in what was commonly described as the "cows and condos" affair.

Salleh was later acquitted.

By 2012, Shahrizat stepped down as cabinet minister, and was not fielded in the 2013 general election.

It is uncertain if Shahrizat will be dropped as a BN candidate for two elections in a row, despite holding an extremely powerful position in Umno.

As for Rafizi, he currently facing the prospect of jail after being charged for leaking bank documents related to the NFC affair.

He has already been found guilty in an unrelated case and sentenced to 18 months in jail. However, he is still free pending appeal.

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