By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today that he will take over Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s women, family and community development portfolio after she steps down as senator tomorrow.
The prime minister made the announcement at a function in Temerloh, Pahang, today, according to Star Online.
“I would like to feel how to manage the ministry.
“On her (Shahrizat’s) part, she would focus her efforts to help Barisan Nasional (BN) secure a big win in the general election,” the English daily quoted Najib as saying during the launch of the Kar1sma 1Azam programme in Dataran Tok Gajah today.
The prime minister’s announcement today puts an end to speculation over whether Shahrizat’s deputy and most vocal critic in Wanita Umno, Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim, would assume the ministerial post.
Kamilia has been speaking out against Shahrizat, who has been repeatedly linked to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) controversy, demanding the latter relinquish her position as Wanita Umno chief as well.
Shahrizat announced on March 11 that she would step down as women, family and community development minister when her term as senator expires tomorrow.
Her announcement came after nearly five months of allegations that she and her family had used a RM250 million government soft-loan earmarked for the NFC cattle-farming project to pay for personal expenses, among other things.
The National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), a company run by Shahrizat’s family that supervises the NFC, hit national headlines last year after the company made it into the Auditor-General’s Report last year for missing production targets.