Politics

Rafidah fully retired, not keen to contest in GE14

rafidah

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – April 10, 2018: Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, another former minister who has turned into a firce critic of the government, has no intention of contesting in the general elections, having retired from politics and being no longer a card-carrying member of any party.

“No thanks. I am not contesting (for) anything. But I have every right to speak and to ensure truth and right prevail,” she texted in response to a query.

Lately there have been calls from opposition supporters asking her to contest for the main opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan.

“I am just a concerned citizen supporting the efforts to put things right and to stop the slide of our country.

“For me, the collective efforts led by Tun Mahathir (Pribumi Bersatu chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad) is the only credible way to stop the rot,” wrote the former member of parliament of Kuala Kangsar.

Rafidah had on Sunday dropped a bombshell of an allegation when she issued an open-letter asking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to clarify over what she claimed to be total privatisation of all of the defence ministry’s (Mindef) land in the country.

This led to Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday responding to describe the letter as full of misinformation and outright lies.

Critics had also pointed out that Rafidah’s claim did not make sense because according to her, the proposal to privatise Mindef’s land was tabled at a Cabinet meeting at the end of 2008, whereas she was dropped from the Cabinet on March 18 of that year.

When this argument was brought to her attention, Rafidah described it as a typo error on her part, adding that she has already corrected the letter which was posted at her Facebook wall.

“It was due to my fat finger as I used my mobile phone to post on FB. I already corrected it. It’s (the year) 2007 but the fact remains,” she stated.

Rafidah had previously been involved in a verbal bout with Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz where she told the latter to go jump into a lake after he had highlighted her alleged racist practices during her 21-year ministerial stint.

The two have been in an on-off tongue-lashing war of words since 2016.

Rafidah’s first debuted as a government critic in August 2015 where she claimed that the 1Malaysia Development Berhad controversy was an extension of a long-standing problem of money politics in Umno.

Despite her current strong stance against malpractices, Rafidah had in 2006 been accused by Mahathir of corruption in relation to the issuance of approved permits for importing vehicles.

Mahathir also criticised his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for retaining Rafidah in the Cabinet.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]