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Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 2:44:58 PM
by joceline tan
Dynamic duo: Suraya (left) and Azizah have been campaigning like friends.
PETALING JAYA: They are vying to be the next deputy Wanita Umno chief but strangely enough, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun and Datuk Suraya Yaakob have been campaigning like friends alongside each other.
Azizah and Suraya have gone together for a number of Wanita events led by the wing’s chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil to meet the delegates ahead of the Umno election.
“Suraya is not my enemy. We are competing for the post because it was vacant. The contest is in the family,” said Azizah, who is the Deputy Minister for Women, Community and Family Development.
Azizah is Shahrizat’s running mate in the Wanita Umno contest. Suraya, who is a Kedah executive council member, is going on her own strength although she supports Shahrizat’s re-election bid.
Their public camaraderie is part of Shahrizat’s effort to bring the two under her campaign umbrella.
Azizah and Suraya have also refrained from any negative campaigning – in public, at least. Suraya is known for her sunny personality and big smiles but she talks serious politics when she meets delegates.
“Many of the delegates are voting for the first time in their life. I tell them we are not just choosing leaders for the party but also the country. Some people said I am too young at 44, but I’ve been in politics since 2001 and I was part of the team that helped recapture Kedah,” said the third-term assemblyman.
She said those she met understand the need for a transformation team in Umno but she is not sure whether it will translate into votes.
“I want to help win back the people’s trust in the Government. Win or lose, it is all in God’s hands,” she said.
Azizah is known as a giant-killer for defeating Sabah warlord Datuk Lajim Ukim in the Beaufort parliamentary seat in the general election.
“It’s the people who are the giant-killers, they decided Barisan Nasional was better,” she said.
Azizah comes with a lot of experience having served at both state and federal levels. She said she is contesting the Wanita post to help form a strong team for the next general election.
She is also vying for the post of Beaufort division chief against her half-sister Faridah Mohd Dun.
“I have been the Beaufort Wanita chief for 17 years. It was time to move on to the division level. If my sister wants to contest and to contribute, I cannot stop her. This is a democracy,” she said.
Both Suraya and Azizah are lawyers who hail from well-connected political families in their own states. Suraya married into the Syed Barakbah family in Kedah. Her father-in-law, who was the former state secretary, was like a son to the late Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Her own side of the family is big, well-educated and spread all over the world because her grandfather had 17 wives. The family has a reunion every other Raya to catch up with new arrivals like new-borns and also new wives joining the clan.
Azizah’s father was in the movement for Independence. He was a former MP and assemblyman and helped bring Umno to Sabah. Her younger brother was also an assemblyman.
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Politics, suraya, azizah dun, wanita umno, deputy, no 2, umno election
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