By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, April 8- Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today defended the prime minister's decision to take over her women, family and community development portfolio, and described it as the "best decision."
She denied claims made by Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers that the decision was a repressive move for women's representations within the government.
Shahrizat (picture) said today the ministry need not be exclusively represented by women as it dealt with social development in the country.
“You must remember that the ministry is for social development. We deal with women, families, disabled people, welfare and social issues and the elderly, so it is all-encompassing,” she told reporters after a function at the federal territories mosque here.
Today is Shahrizat's last day as minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced yesterday that he would be acting minister of women, family and community development from then on. He did not state how long he would carry the portfolio, however.
She said her ministry is in “the best of hands” under Najib and this was the “best gift” for her ministry’s workers.
When asked whether there were no other credible women leader to take over the ministry portfolio, she said “I think the prime minister would have thought long and deep about it and he has made the best choice.”
Previously, Shahrizat had announced on March 11 that she would be stepping down as minister due to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) controversy.
NFCorp, managed by Shahrizat’s husband, failed to meet stipulated beef production targets and is being investigated due to allegations of mismanagement of funds from a RM250 million government soft loan.