KUALA LUMPUR: Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has announced her retirement from politics after having helmed Wanita Umno for the past nine years, saying she wished to spend more time with her family.
The former women, family and community development minister said it was time for her to hand over the responsibilities to the next generation to enable the women’s wing to remain relevant in the future.
“I will retire from politics and spend my time with my grandchildren. I have also stepped down from all posts held at the branch and divisional levels,” she said.
“We should know when we need to stop. I have been in politics for a long time. The time has now come to give opportunities to new faces that are fresh,” she said to reporters at the Putra World Trade Centre where the Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri elections take place today.
She said she was thankful to Wanita members for their support during her leadership and hoped that the new chief would be able to restore the wing’s glory.
“I very much appreciate their support as I have been able to run my duties peacefully,” she said. “I hope the new chief will be able to lead Wanita Umno into the mainstream,” she added.
Shahrizat took over the wing’s leadership after defeating incumbent Rafidah Aziz, a former minister, in 2009.
In 2008, she failed to defend her Lembah Pantai parliamentary constituency that she had held since 1995 when she lost to PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar.
However, she became a senator and was included in prime minister Najib Razak’s Cabinet. She was forced to step down as a minister three years later after being embroiled in a scandal involving the National Feedlot Centre run by her family.
Shahrizat did not contest in the general election last month. She then announced on June 5 that she would not defend her Wanita post in the current election.