Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
|Yang Berhormat Senator Datuk Seri
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
|Dato' Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil|
|Malaysian Minister of Women, Family and Community Development|
10 April 2009 – 8 April 2012
|Preceded by||Ng Yen Yen|
|Succeeded by||Najib Razak (acting)|
|Chairlady of UMNO's Women's Wing|
26 March 2009
|Preceded by||Rafidah Aziz|
|Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai|
1995 – 8 March 2008
|Succeeded by||Nurul Izzah Anwar|
|Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for Women and Social Development Affairs|
18 March 2008 – 8 April 2009
|Preceded by||Ng Yen Yen|
|Succeeded by||post closed|
15 August 1953 |
|Political party||United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) part of Barisan Nasional|
|Spouse(s)||Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail|
Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (born 15 August 1953) is a Malaysian politician and the former Minister of Women, Family and Community Development in the Malaysian cabinet. She was also a Senator in the Dewan Negara and the former Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai which she held for 13 years before eventually losing it to first time MP and daughter of de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, 27 year old Nurul Izzah Anwar during the 2008 general election.
In 2011-2012, her political career became mired in national controversy when she and her family were accused of misusing public funds in the National Feedlot Corporation scandal, eventually leading to her resignation as Senator and Minister for Women's Affairs. In May 2012, Shahrizat was cleared by the MACC of having anything to do with National Feedlot Corporation.
Shahrizat is married to Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail with whom she has three children.
She attended Northam Road Girls' School and Madrasah Tarbiah Islamiah during her primary years, and pursued her secondary education at St. George's Girls' School. She then continue her school education in the prestigious Kolej Tunku Kurshiah in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. She attended University Malaya Law School graduated with distinction in 1976. She then served as a magistrate for three years. Shahrizat was later appointed as the Assistant Treasury Solicitor. She leaves the public service sector in 1980 to become a partner in a law firm. Shahrizat was with Soo Thein Ming & Shahrizat for 16 years before she started her own legal firm Tetuan Shahrizat & Tan on the 1st of July 1983.
Shahrizat became the first Minister for Women and Family Development when the ministry was created by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2001. Later, when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister, he revamped the ministry and renamed it to Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development.
She was also acting Federal Territories Minister from 16 October 2005 until 16 February 2005, when fellow UMNO member, Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad had to step down from the post after being found guilty of corruption charges. Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique was later chosen to fill the post.
Member of Parliment
Shahrizat had been the Member of Parliament for the Lembah Pantai constituency in Kuala Lumpur for the past 3 terms since 1995. Housing squatters in Lembah Pantai under her leadership has been Barisan Nasional’s trump card. To date, some 90% of squatters in Lembah Pantai have been resettled and allowed to purchase their homes, according to Shahrizat.
When Shahrizat first became the area’s MP in 1995, the problem of the day was squatters as well as other concerns, such as floods, fire, garbage collection, street lamps, and children’s scholarships. Nevertheless, some have disputed her contribution to the development seen in the constituency, with most development being private sector driven initiatives, or projects under the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, which is unrelated to her position as an MP.
During the 10th Malaysian general election, Shahrizat narrowly defeated Zainur Zakaria. The counting of votes was fraught with controversy, and Shahrizat won after a recount was conducted.
In an upset during the 12th Malaysian general election which was held on 8 March 2008, Lembah Pantai constituents rejected UMNO and Shahrizat as their elected representative, to a 27-year old newcomer, Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Post 2008 general elections
In a face saving gesture to the Wanita UMNO wing, then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Shahrizat as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for Women and Social Development Affairs on March 18, 2008, recognising that this wing was not represented in his cabinet.
It was said she would be working closely with the ministry she had once served. The special adviser position carries with it ministerial status whereby she gets access to information and is provided with an office and secretaries like a full Cabinet minister. However, she cannot attend Cabinet meetings.
Upon Shahrizat's victory as Wanita UMNO Chairlady on March 26, 2009, and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia, she was reappointed as Minister of Women, Family and Community Development on April 10, 2009. To qualify to be appointed as a minister, she was sworn in as a Senator in the Dewan Negara the day before.
National Feedlot Corporation scandal
In late 2011, the National Feedlot Corporation issue became public knowledge. Shahrizat and her family were accused of misusing RM250 million in public funds meant for a state cattle ranch in Gemas, in the southwestern state of Negeri Sembilan. Despite her strenuous denials, on March 11, 2012, Shahrizat announced that she will be stepping down from her ministerial post effective April 8, coinciding the end of her term as Senator, while retaining her party positions.
In June 2012, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) cleared Shahrizat of any wrongdoing in the NFC issue. MACC Chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil had said that the panel made the decision after studying investigation papers and reports from the Attorney General's Chambers, and closed the case against the former women, family and community development minister and cleared her name.
Khoo Salma Nasution, Alison Hayes & Sehra Yeap Zimbulis: Giving Our Best: The Story of St George's Girls' School, Penang, 1885-2010, Areca Books, 2010
- New dimension to urban voting, The Star, March 2, 2008.
- Shahrizat made Special Adviser, The Star, March 19, 2008.
- Shahrizat To Step Down As Minister Of Women, Family And Community Development, Bernama, March 11, 2012