The contest for the top post of Wanita UMNO is taking on the shape of a match between David and Goliath.It seems so but might not be so.
The shrewed, aggressive and volatile incumbent Rafidah Aziz got 117 nominations against potential challenger Shahrizat Jalil who got an impressive 73 nominations in spite of the fact that she is supposed to contest the deputy post and not the chief post.There are voices of discontent in Wanita UMNO against Rafidah pushing her luck.
Rafidah didn't expect someone to spring a surprise and challenge the deputy Wanita position putting the whole succession plan in disarry and a threat to Shahrizat's chance of taking the deputy post and successor to the Wanita Chief position when Rafidah step down in June next year. Her refusal to bring forward the succession plan to March as requested by Shahrizat and the new development is likely to cause Shahrizat to challenge her.Do not underestimate her capability to spring a surprise of her own.The demure Shahrizat may not be as aggressive and volatile as Rafidah but she could be a wolf in sheep clothing.
The ground is swelling in opposition to Rafidah's power crazy decision to contest the Wanita Chief post which she had held since 1984 with a short break of three years when she lost to Dr Siti Zaharah Sulaiman.Many in the Wanita wing felt she has been there far too long.
Many leaders in UMNO have surpassed their shelf-life but refused to go, wanting to keep their position for life and Rafidah is one of those that may have reached the end of her shelf-live.How she obtained such high number of nominations is a mystery.
She has also been implicated in the over-indulgence of issuing of Approved Permits (AP) for the benefits of a few people close to her.Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad blamed her for the losses at Proton due to the big invasion of imported cars that compete with the national car.In spite of this allegation the issuance of AP continued unabated during her tenure.
Prime Minister Abdullah has said he would mediate the two to resolve the problem.I think the Prime Minister should leave the two ladies alone, let them fight it out.There is no such thing as the tussle would split the party, it is good for the party, it should teach people how to compete.Such argument is reserved only for those who are coward, unsure of themselves and feared being challenged.
Shahrizat felt she has been played out and I don't blame her for being so.With more than sufficient nominations there is no reason why she shouldn't take on Rafidah.Better to die fighting the champion than die fighting an unknown killer.
They say 'Hell hath no fury like a women scorned'. Shahrizat can surely rock the boat in a sea of discontent and send Rafidah plunging into the sea.
I place my bet on Shahrizat.