Rafidah hit out at Shahrizat for breaking the promise made earlier that she would not challenge her.
In her 11-page handwritten statement to the press yesterday, Rafidah said her deputy even said ‘My word is my honour’, that she would abide by the advice of the party’s top leaders and had accepted the (June) transition plan.
But Shahrizat disclosed - as many have suspected - that she had agreed to Wanita’s transition plan under duress.
“Can you imagine if I had declined the transition plan in front of 700 to 800 people, including the Prime Minister,” she told the Star.
According to Shahrizat, Rafidah had sprung the June 2009 plan on her at a Wanita function at the Putra World Trade Centre on the day it was announced (Aug 4), without any prior consultation with her or the executive council.
Shahrizat, who admits that she has always been a “yes man” to Rafidah said:
“I am always listening to Tan Sri. I have positioned myself as her deputy. It is not my habit to offer anything that I was not asked. This is something I have conditioned myself for over the years. I am a party person.
"She is my boss.”
The rest of the report below:
Rafidah, who earned the nickname 'Iron Lady' while serving as Trade Minister for two decades before being dumped from the cabinet earlier this year, had hoped to remain as Wanita chief until June 2009.
“Throughout the years, you never find me offering opinions, because Tan Sri is a very strong leader and she speaks her mind. I look at myself as a backbencher. This is to maintain peace,” she said.
Shahrizat said she took time to come to a decision because she had to consider the effect of her decision on the movement.
“But once I have made up my mind, I don’t turn back,” she said.
She said although she had called for divisions to respect the transition plan, the ground was volatile.
“The mood was that they don’t want top leaders to make decisions for them. They were resentful that we assume they will accept the plan. And I bore the brunt for a long time.
“The women wanted to be given a choice and felt that their right to exercise their right had been taken away. This was putting the Wanita structure in danger. The women were angry with me for agreeing (to the plan) because the Wanita chief will be acting and there would be no deputy.
“They wanted me to stand up and fight against it. But at that time, I did not have the strength to fight,” she said, adding that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the last Wanita exco
meeting, where she was not given a chance to express her views. The Star