The Kinabatangan MP reiterated his call to the Wanita chief to quit before the national polls get underway.
KUALA LUMPUR: Vocal Umno supreme council member Bung Mokhtar Radin today again asked Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to consider quitting over the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) Sdn Bhd scandal.
The Kinabatangan MP reiterated that the women, family, and community development minister has become a liability to the party, which is preparing for the national polls expected to be held early next year.
He suggested that Shahrizat is an isolated figure in the row despite boasting of support from her wing members, giving a hint that the Wanita chief is facing a growing undercurrent against her.
“I don’t know how much was the support (for Shahrizat). No delegate has made it clear what his or her support was for.
“Support for the party, yes, we know (about that),” Bung Mokhtar said, when met on the sidelines of the Umno general assembly.
He added that Shahrizat’s explanation was insufficient to tackle public perception about the scandal, which could affect Umno’s chances at the polls.
He said it was important that Umno not be weakened by scandals linked to any individual.
“So I have already stated my stand: I ask her to reconsider (resigning)… because of one individual, the party gets involved.”
The Auditor-General’s Report released last month had criticised the NFC, which is operated by Shahrizat’s husband and children, calling it “a mess”.
The report said that production in 2010 was only 3,289 head of cattle or 41.1% of the target set.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Noh Omar, however, said on Oct 31 that the project was a success as it met its target of 8,000 head of cattle last year once 5,742 slaughtered cattle were taken into account.
Shahrizat received enthusiastic reception when she defended herself over the scandal, saying that the accusations against her were attempts to discredit Wanita.
Bung Mokhtar was the first to openly call for her resignation despite vigorous efforts by his colleagues to defend Shahrizat and the project.
It is understood that many senior leaders in Umno share the same sentiment although they would not do so openly.