Our friend Shahrizat is in a fix. She is caught in between. She has the numbers to go for the top post in Wanita. The incumbent, Rafidah Aziz has the bigger number of nominations. Shahrizat has been promised the ketua post. But only in June 2009.
Her current position as deputy Wanita chief is being challenged. By Kamilia Ibrahim, the Wanita chief of the Kuala Kangsar UMNO division. She has not attended any Wanita exco meetings. She does not want to be part of any communiqué and endorsements of any sort of agreement. She does not countenance any pakat pakat. The hand over from ketua to naib ketua is not provided for in the constitution.
Shahrizat faces a Hobson’s choice really- no choice at all. Having made the bed, she must now lie on it. By allowing nominations of her for the ketua post, she sends signals she actually wants the post of ketua Wanita. She has issued a challenge. The recipient of that challenge is no lily-livered and chopped livered figure. She is Rafidah Aziz who, when she lost the Ketua Wanita post once to Siti Zaharah, refused to shake hands with the victor. Such was her acrimonious reaction.
The subtle messages from the nominations are certainly not lost on Rafidah Aziz and her legions of supporters. Having issued the challenge, Rafidah will reciprocate by preparing for an outright war. It will be hostile.
It is obvious to Wanita watchers, there has been a fallout between the two former comrade in arms. When Rafidah was excluded from the cabinet, she was forced to eat humble pie. Salt was rubbed to the wound, when Sharizat who lost her seat was given an appointment with ministerial status. That was a tight slap on Rafidah’s face. She must have felt betrayed by Shahrizat whom she must have expected to do the honourable thing- to show loyalty to the Wanita boss by refusing the appointment.
In UMNO culture it does not pay to ‘acah acah’ you want to fight. When you do this, your adversary reads it as your political Freudian slip. You are after my post. Come and get it. Rafidah being Rafidah must be saying privately, over my dead body.
Meanwhile our friend Kamilia Ibrahim will not budge from her decision to contest the deputy post. If Shahrizat does not go for the top post, she will face Kamilia. For that position, she cannot be certain of victory.
Why? Because by already issuing a challenge to the boss, she has regrouped Rafidah’s supporters who will turn on her. She has awakened the sleeping lionesses. Plus the supporters of Kamilia, the combination of these forces will pin down Shahrizat.
Shahrizat must not be fooled by the articulation of support from
The best choice and indeed the only choice for Shahrizat is to go for broke. She can count on the latent disillusionment with the Iron Lady.
Pak Lah says when he comes back, he will talk to the ladies. What can an outgoing president achieve when he meets blood curdled warring factions?