Shahrizat Abdul Jalil

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This is a Malay name; the name Abdul Jalil is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Shahrizat.
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Malaysian Minister of Women, Family and Community Development
In office
10 April 2009 – 8 April 2012
Preceded by Ng Yen Yen
Succeeded by Najib Razak (acting)
Constituency Senator
Chairlady of UMNO's Women's Wing
Assumed office
26 March 2009
Preceded by Rafidah Aziz
Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai
In office
1995 – 8 March 2008
Preceded by Mohamed Kamal Hussain
Succeeded by Nurul Izzah Anwar
Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for Women and Social Development Affairs
In office
18 March 2008 – 8 April 2009
Preceded by Ng Yen Yen
Succeeded by post closed
Personal details
Born Shahrizat binti Abdul Jalil
(1953-08-15) 15 August 1953 (age 62)
Penang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) part of Barisan Nasional
Spouse(s) Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail
Children 3
Alma mater University of Malaya
Occupation Politician, lawyer
Religion Islam

Tan Sri Shahrizat binti Abdul Jalil (born 15 August 1953) is a Malaysian politician who served in the Cabinet of Malaysia as Minister of Women, Family and Community Development from 2009 to 2012. She was the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai from 1995 to 2008 and subsequently served as a Senator in the Dewan Negara.

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 the Chairlady of the Women's wing of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and therefore also the Chairlady of the Women's Wing of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Shahrizat is married to Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail with whom she has three children.

Early life and education[edit]

Shahrizat was born on 15 August 1953 in Penang into a Pakistani/Malay family. She was an active student in academics and also curricular activities. 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 continued 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 1 July 1983.[1]


Shahrizat became the first Minister for Women and Family Development when the ministry was created by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 2001. Later, when 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 Isa Abdul Samad had to step down from the post after being found guilty of corruption charges. Zulhasnan Rafique was later chosen to fill the post.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Shahrizat was the Member of Parliament for the Lembah Pantai constituency in Kuala Lumpur from 1995 to 2008. 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.[2]

During the 1999 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 2008 general election, she lost her seat to a 27-year-old newcomer, Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim.

Post 2008 general elections[edit]

In a face saving gesture to the Wanita UMNO wing, Prime Minister 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.[3]

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 Najib Tun Razak becoming Prime Minister, 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[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]


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


  1. ^ "Shahrizat Abdul Jalil". Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  2. ^ New dimension to urban voting, The Star, March 2, 2008.
  3. ^ Shahrizat made Special Adviser, The Star, March 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Shahrizat To Step Down As Minister Of Women, Family And Community Development, Bernama, March 11, 2012
  5. ^ "Nation". Retrieved 6 January 2015.