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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 2:54:00 PM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 3:33:40 PM
by rahmah ghazali
PETALING JAYA: Umno Wanita chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who will be defending her post in the upcoming party election, may just have met her toughest match.
Despite having shied away from the political radar for close to four years, former Puteri chief Datuk Seri Azalina Othman looks set to snatch away Shahrizat's dreams of leading the women wing for the second term.
"Azalina is going to make a strong comeback," Universiti Teknologi Mara Assoc Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin told The Star Online.
Explaining his prediction, he said Azalina, the former Tourism Minister, had a strong supporter base having helmed the Puteri wing from 2002 to 2004.
"Bear in mind that most Wanita members come from the Puteri wing, and most of them are Azalina's followers. So the potential for Azalina to beat Shahrizat is great," he said.
Although he admits that Shahrizat would take the tiara if it was a popularity contest, Shaharuddin said there was a "new breed" of leaders coming into the picture, some of whom had waited for 10 years to step into Wanita's doorstep.
But it is also a fair game for both Shahrizat and Azalina, he said, as they no longer hold any ministerial posts, after scandalous allegations clout their ministries.
"Although Shahrizat is not a member of parliament or a minister any more, she was recently appointed as an adviser to the prime minister based on her expertise when she was a minister.
"Meanwhile, Azalina continues to receive support from her constituency in Pengerang, Johor which she has served for more than two terms. It's a fair game now," he said.
Asked whether the women wing was faced with a shortage of capable candidates as only Shahrizat and Azalina had announced their intention to contest the top post, Shaharuddin said this was not the case.
"There is a possibility of a dark horse making her way up, such as Tenggara MP Datuk Halimah Saddique who has all the right criteria," he said.
Shaharuddin also said that the Wanita Umno contest, which will be held on Oct 12, will be "the most interesting one to watch" as both leaders have proven their capabilities in shaping Wanita and Puteri respectively.
Tags / Keywords:
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Azalina Othman, Umno Wanita
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