KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir cited the need to spend more time with his family as among the reasons for his resignation as Information Minister.
Looking calm and composed, Abdul Kadir, in his familiar bow tie and with his wife Datin Seri Suraya Mohd Noah beside him, told a packed press conference at his office that he had “failed miserably” in spending time with his family.
“How much I tried, I still found very little time for my children and wife,” he said as he reached out and clasped Suraya's hand.
“My wife and other family members have suggested that I should consider leaving the Cabinet, and this is exactly what I am doing now.”
The gesture surprised Suraya and she smiled. They continued to hold hands for some time.
Abdul Kadir said he offered to resign from the Cabinet when he met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi nine months ago.
“Two weeks ago, I met the Prime Minister and again asked to be allowed to go,” he said.
“This time, he told me that since I have thought over the matter carefully, he agreed and asked me to continue working until he announced a Cabinet reshuffle.”
Abdul Kadir said he would be more active in politics now, as well as venture into business.
“I intend to contest my parliamentary seat of Kulim/Bandar Baru in the next general election,” he added.
“I also intend to contest for an important position in the Umno Supreme Council election. I have been holding positions in Umno since 1956, or 50 years ago, and it is, therefore, difficult for me to stop being active in politics.”
Abdul Kadir has been holding full-time positions in the Federal Government since 1970 as political secretary, parliamentary secretary, deputy minister and minister.
“Whether I have been effective or not in these posts is not for me to judge,” he said.
“During my short stint of two years, RTM has managed to make some RM90mil, which I think is a big achievement considering that 60% of its programmes are non-revenue items,'' he added.
“I would like to wish my successor all the best.''
He became a bit emotional when talking of leaving.
“I fell in love with all my staff. Even in my last ministry it was difficult to leave, as it is now,” he said, his voice cracking.
Suraya said Abdul Kadir's resignation was the best gift for her and the family.
“I am the happiest woman in the world now that I finally have my husband back,” she said.
When asked why her husband chose today to announce his resignation, Suraya laughed, saying probably because it was Valentine's Day.
“I'm really happy, and our eight-year-old twins, Erman and Erwan, are really happy as well,” she said, adding that she only saw her husband twice a week due to his hectic schedule as a Cabinet minister.
“My children and I, as well as all family members, feel happy with his decision. It allows my husband to spend more time with us,” she added.
They have been married for 16 years.
Suraya also said the family would finally have time to carry out plans that have been put on hold for years because of her husband's commitment to his job.
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