Rina Harun ready to serve rakyat as minister

KUALA LUMPUR: First-term MP for Titiwangsa Rina Harun (pic) was taken by surprise over her appointment to the Cabinet but the 44-year-old is ready to take on the challenge helming the Rural Development Ministry.

“It is totally unexpected. This is an opportunity for me to dedicate my service and highest commitment to the rakyat and I promise to honour the trust that has been given to me,” she said in a statement.

The head of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s women’s wing, known as Srikandi, thanked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Pribumi chairman, and the party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for their faith in her.

Rina, who was working in finance for eight years until she decided to focus on politics, said first on her agenda will be to meet with ministry officials to familiarise herself with the policies, legislation and pro­­grammes in rural development.

“I need to gather information from ministry officers and understand the issues before I come up with my plan and programmes.

“I hope to empower the rural sec­tor and look into ways to enhance rural development. I will make sure that whatever programmes we imple­ment they will reach the rakyat and benefit those who need them most,” she added.

Rina is expected to take her oath of office, together with other MPs appointed to Dr Mahathir’s Cabinet, before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara at 11.30am tomorrow.

Humbled by her appointment, Rina pledged to work hard so as not to disappoint the Prime Minister or the voters who put their trust in the Pakatan Harapan Govern­ment.

“When Tun tells you to do something, you just do it. It was the same when he put me to run in Titi­wangsa.

“I had my doubts, especially since I received some opposition from people who were sceptical about my abilities.

“But when I voiced my concern to Tun, he told me that I had to deliver. There was no arguing and I worked hard at it,” she said.

Rina, who is also deputy women’s chief of Pakatan, is formerly a Puteri Umno executive councillor.

She joined Puteri Umno in 2000 soon after graduating with a degree in business and administration from Michigan, United States.

She was born in Tanjung Karang, Selangor, but grew up in Titiwangsa, where her parents owned a restaurant in Jalan Gurney, Keramat.