The fairer dark horse

ADUN Bandar Muadzam Dato' Maznah Mazlan

ADUN Bandar Muadzam Dato’ Maznah Mazlan

Muadzam Shah ADUN Dato’ Maznah Mazlan’s literally last minute candidacy for Wanita UMNO Chief race surprised but at the same time provided some glimmer of hope that the nationalist party is moving forward. Now, Pahang UMNO is committed in their endorsement of supporting her nationwide bid.

The Star political analyst Joceline Tan’s take on the situation:

Published: Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 7:57:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday September 24, 2013 MYT 7:59:23 AM

Maznah – a classic dark horse


Datuk Maznah Mazlan’s entry into the race for the Wanita Umno leadership has changed the game and incumbent Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil cannot take things for granted.

A candidate for Wanita Umno chief post Datuk Maznah Mazlan.

PAHANG politician Datuk Maznah Mazlan (pic) has turned out to be the classic dark horse in the contest for the Wanita Umno leadership.

She had kept things so close to her chest that even her own Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob had not known about it.

In fact, when her representative walked in with her nomination papers last Saturday, the PWTC team handling the Wanita nominations had already packed up and were sitting there waiting for the 5pm deadline. They had to quickly unpack their stuff to register her candidature. That was how close she was cutting it.

Everyone had assumed that the Wanita leadership contest would boil down to a face-off between incumbent Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil and underdog Raihan Sulaiman who is from the Kulim Bandar Baru division in Kedah.

But Maznah’s 11th hour entry has changed the game for the Wanita leadership race.

Adnan, for one, appears to have changed his stand on the Wanita contest. A couple of weeks ago, he had reportedly endorsed Shahrizat for the top post.

But yesterday, the macho Mentri Besar told an Umno gathering in Temerloh that Pahang would support Maznah. The event was organised by Temerloh Umno chief Datuk Sharkar Shamsudin for delegates who would be voting in the Umno election to meet some of the candidates vying for national posts.

“She did not discuss it with any of us. It was a shock to all of us,” said Sharkar who won his Temerloh chief post uncontested.

Adnan admitted as much during the Temerloh event.

“I only knew about Datuk Maznah’s decision on Saturday evening. She did not consult me but this is a democracy and it is her right to contest,” said Adnan.

There was thunderous applause from the audience when Adnan invited Maznah on stage to give her the Pahang endorsement.

Maznah is not a superstar like Shahrizat but she is certainly more credible than Raihan who has no track record in the wing or even Datuk Azalina Othman Said who has backed out from the contest. Shahrizat will now have to be on her guard.

Both the Wanita ladies and the men in Umno had been lukewarm about Azalina. They simply could not visualise the former Puteri Umno chief as the next Wanita leader.

On the other hand, Maznah, who is currently a Senator, is seen as someone in the Wanita mould.

She is a member of the Wanita exco and has also been an assemblywoman, Pahang exco member and deputy minister.

Yesterday, at her first major press conference since entering the race, Maznah denied that she is a proxy of Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

She was anxious to dispel the notion that this is a grudge fight between Shahrizat and the camp that had been with Rafidah.

Maznah probably has the support of Rafidah but it is unlikely that Rafidah put her up to the fight. The Iron Lady has no time for petty politics even though she can be very unforgiving of those whom she feels have done her in.

Rafidah had apparently given Azalina a piece of her mind when Azalina sought her support.

She dislikes Shahrizat but not to the extent of simply giving her support to any person challenging Shahrizat.

In fact, the camp that used to support Rafi­dah had also found it hard to accept Azalina but they will now throw their support behind Maznah.

Both of Maznah’s proposer and seconder were from the Cheras division of Umno and the representative who submitted the nomination papers on her behalf was from the Federal Territory Umno.

The evidence trail seems to lead back to Cheras Umno which is headed by the powerful warlord Datuk Seri Syed Ali Alhabshee who is not on good terms with Shahrizat. Moreover, the former Cheras Wanita chief and now the division treasurer is Datuk Faridah Abu Has­san, who has an axe to grind with Shahrizat.

Maznah is nowhere as popular as Shahrizat. Her PR also falls short when compared to Shahrizat who makes time for all the ladies whether they are somebody or nobodies.

Shahrizat smiles at everybody, exchanges hugs and air kisses with the ladies and stops to chat with everyone even when she is in a hurry. Maznah, according to some of the ladies, sometimes walks past them without even saying hello and little things like this matter in politics.

But Maznah, according to insiders, should be able to capitalise on Shahrizat’s latest headache – the incumbent Wanita chief’s former political secretary Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim is being investigated by the MACC for alleged misappropriation of funds from the 1Azam welfare programme for the poor.

The timing of the investigation is bound to cost her some votes.

The other surprise in the Wanita contest came in the form of Datuk Hamidah Osman joining the fray for the wing’s No. 2 post alongside Sabah’s Datuk Azizah Dun and Datuk Suraya Yaakob of Kedah.

Hamidah is the Wanita information chief and a former Perak assemblywoman and her candidature was not exactly welcomed by Shahrizat’s camp who had endorsed Azizah for the No. 2 post.

Hamidah has been under pressure from the Shahrizat camp to pull out but she is standing her ground.

Some said she jumped in because she was upset by reports alleging that Azalina had been promised the information chief post after the polls. But Hamidah told her friends that she is contesting because the post was vacant and that she intends to be a loyal deputy if she wins.

In the meantime, Shahrizat’s campaign is in full swing. She was campaigning in Seremban on Sunday and many were surprised to see Azalina among the team of women that she brought along.

Azalina has gone from being a challenger to being a member of the Shahrizat juggernaut, and that says a lot about Shahrizat’s political clout.


Pahang UMNO endorsement is very important and strategic in the race. This is because Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is Pekan UMNO Division Head. Politically, he should show team spirit and go with his home state’s support for Maznah.

There is a more updated twist to the Wanita UMNO democratic process.

As speculated by Miss Tan, one of the runners for the Vice Chief of Wanita UMNO Dato’ Hamidah Osman withdrew her candidacy. It is believed that incumbent Wanita UMNO Chief Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil preferred Deputy Minister for Women and Family Development and Beaufort Wanita UMNO Head Dato’ Azizah Mohd. Dun  as her running mate, over Wanita UMNO Information Head Hamidah.

This move is believed to galvanized Wanita UMNO Sabah to rally behind Maznah. It has been said Sabah Wanita UMNO Dato’ Armani Mahiruddin is bent of throwing support behind Maznah and committed to ensure that Sabah Wanita UMNO stands firm with her.

Maznah is in the three corner fight for the Wanita UMNO Chief post. The other candidate is Former Wirawati Perkasa Chief Raihan Sulaiman Palestin. The interesting point is Maznah is the only elected representative as Yang Berhormat ADUN Bandar Muadzam between the three Wanita UMNO Chief aspirants. That very much demonstrated her credibility as a leader.

What is more interesting between Maznah and Shahrizat, the former is someone who is scandal-free. She is also free from controversies.

For the record, Shahrizat was plagued with the NFC scandal, highlighted by PKR Strategist Rafizi Ramli. It drew national outcry, for the charged wrongful utilisation of interest free financial facility provided the Federal Government to a company own by her immediately family, to develop feed meal for the livestock industry.

Her husband Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohd. Salleh Ismail have since been charged for CBT involving the sum of RM 49 million.

What is interesting, when the scandal was first raised by PKR leaders in late 2011 Shahrizat stood on the Wanota UMNO platform in the November 2011 UMNO General Assembly and demanded Wanita UMNO to rally around her and do battle, to what is actually her personal problem.

When public opinion against her dwindled rapidly, Prime Minister Najib had to relieve her from the post as Minister of Women and Family Development to save ther Federal Government from any further embarrassment.

Even though MACC exonerated her from any procurement process for the RM250 million soft loan, the court of public opinion caused by the NFC scandal involving a company owned and controlled by her husband and children also diminished her chance to stand as BN candidate in the 13GE.

The recent public attention drew to her Former Political Secretary Dato’ Suhaimi Ibrahim for allegedly misappropriation in the disbursement of funds under 1Azam program, did add any points to the negative perception of credibility to her integrity, which has already set a record low for a Wanita UMNO Chief.

Since Raihan provided little hope of good leadership to the Wanita UMNO which is the nationalist party’s most tactically important wing, then it is obvious that Maznah is the fairer dark horse.

Published in: on September 25, 2013 at 03:00  Comments (26)  

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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]

  2. Tak mungkin Maznah bolih menang kerana dia menghadapi jentera Kuku Besi Shahrizat yang sudah lama mencengkam darah daging Wanita UMNO.

    Wanita UMNO kekal untuk menjaga kepentingan Bersama Shahrizat dan Najib Razak. Pemilihan kali ini akan membuktikan sama ada kuasa sebenarnya pemilihan calon terletak ditangan wakil atau sebaliknya.

    • I second this view

  3. Lame. The candidates are only known amongst members. Ask any ordinary malay woman on the streets, aside from shitheads like wanita lembu and azalina tomboy, no one would know the rest.

    Wanita umno and puteri umno are both useless. What do they do actually? I only see them when brim hand outs are done. They wear colorful clothes and act like pricks.

    Politics is essentially power play where a select few idiots who have no skill to do business and get rich, talk their way to the coffers. That is my view on wanita umno. Essentially women who have nothing better to do but want to somehow be involved in making a quick buck.

    Who cares who compete because we know its all rigged. I think shahrizat will win. Behind the scenes, she can do more and her network is bigger. Najib is in it, right?

    • Why angry angry Bro? In your four paragraphs your thoughts centered on these following words:

      “lame, shitheads, wanita lembu, azalina tomboy, useless, pricks, idiots, no skill, get rich, quick buck, who cares and finally Najib is in it, right?”

      Wait wait! I forget, this is the freedom of expression?

      • And in your post, i dont understand where you’re going.
        So ill just leave you be.

    • Najib is a good PM

  4. insyALLAH YB Maznah from Pahang wins.Good riddance to bad Ijat!!


  5. Heard of Hishamuddin and JJ is exorcising Maznah and anyone opposing Shahrizat.

    These two jokers must be blind or loyally stupid. How are they to maintain status quo with a tainted leader.

    1Azam could be another lembu of Shahrizat.

    Her press statement to say she does not know reminds us of her denial that she does not know her family affair in NFC. Hard to believe….It is also two short of a statement.

    Chairman of Yaysan Kebajikan is PM but the 1Azam account was handled by Suhaimi. Shahrizat is no more Menteri.

    Although Suhaimi denied the 10 cars are his but actually one is his. The White Vellfire. There is no fire when there is smoke. Suhaimi would not have been kept for interrogation for 5 days if there is no fire.

    The 1Azam involves contracts to build or renovate homes for the poor and rumah kebajikan. It involves cronyism to friendly contractors. The problem is that they do not deliver. Some RM100,000 contracts only end up RM30,000 worth of work.

    Another interesting is the story of sejadah to be donated.

    RM10 sejadah gifts is acquired from suppliers at RM25. Company is registered under Shahrizat’s family and a high Ministry official.

    Dump this anak mami. She is corrupt!!!!

  6. Contrary to what has been stated, Maznah is the black/brown horse. Shahrizat will loose her seat of Wanita chief soon.

    Among the three, Shahrizat seems to be the winner but the delegates are frustrated and felling unpleasantness of deception over issues with ingredients of bad images. Shahrizat has been responsible to put a jinx on Wanita wing and Umno as a whole.

    Raihan says Shahrizat has become the target of ‘insults and jibes’. This rundown was felt by thousands of Wanita wing machinery during their campaign of appellant in  last general election. I think, the political undercurrent is translated to vote for Datuk Maznah as far as Wanita Johore, Selangor and Kedah are concerned as of now.

    • Good if it was really felt by thousands of Wanita during last general election. Good if it will translate into votes for Maznah.

      The fear is that no contest for Najib means many voting members are of the kind who’d want Shahrizat also in, simply because she’s Najib’s woman – Rosmah’s buddy, to be exact. How much Najib listens to Rosmah and how much the voting members follow what Najib wants is the question.

      Maybe Wanita’s voting members are not that independent, just as the ordinary voting UMNO members are not. Money politics (nobody can deny it still exists), promises of all sorts, and the traditional or conservative thinking of not rocking the boat.

      I hope to be proven wrong. But I dislike the so much nonsense that’s been going on in UMNO since Tun Dol’s time I was disappointed that Najib was not challenged. I fear UMNO may go down at PRU14 and the bloody Opposition gets to Putrajaya.

  7. A system that blocks “wealth accumulation” of key post bearers need to be implemented to sieve greedy and power-hungry candidates.

    Asset declaration must be strictly in place for the future of UMNO.

    • Good point. But I don’t see it it happening under Najib. Sanggup potong jari kelengkeng, kata gengster. And I’m not a gengster!

      Nothing more than Tengku Ahmad Rithauddin’s committee being seen taking a little action on money politics. Little only. Guilty-of-money-politics Khairy Jamaluddin has even been made a Minister. A farce.

  8. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]

  9. Wanita UMNO has always been divided into camps. Once there was the Rafidah vs Shahrizat. Then there was the Shahrizat vs Kamaliah. Then there were constant attempts to ‘block’ Azalina from becoming too influential in Wanita UMNO following her graduation from Puteri. Then there were wanitas who fell by the wayside like Noraini Ahmad and Dr.Siti Zaharah. Then there was a potentially strong leader in the making like Halimah Saddique but we have yet to see her making it to the top echelon. Sure Wanita UMNO has always been the backbone of UMNO during GE times. They campaigned tirelessly to ensure UMNO got the votes. But something about the enigma of Wanita. Despite the apparent camps that exist, they know how to close ranks when closing ranks are needed and generally appear demure despite the undercurrents. We have to see if there really is a groundswell for change in the post of Wanita chief or is it merely pockets of disenchanted members that may prove to be like a storm bringer that ends up with just drizzling rain.

    It would have been better if Sharizat had decided not to defend her post that would pave the way for other wanitas who feel they are capable to lead, to contest the post. Regardless, 2 other candidates have put forward their names to contest the post and the incumbent. The pundits are out there to extrapolate whether or not Sharizat will succeed in defending her post. If we go by that funny ‘endless possibilities’, all 3 have a chance, but the chance is greater with Shahrizat, largely because as described by Joycelyn Tan, she was approachable and members-friendly. Some say that she is a consensus builder which is a plus point in any leadership since that leader makes all members feel their contributions are needed and that they are all special.

    • Difficult to expect Shahrizat not to defend her post of Wanita Chief. That post brings her the dignity that her family has lost due to the stupid cow case.

      Perhaps the hope that being the Wanita Chief would bring her the post of Minister, a position that’ll make the relevant authorities “segan” over any other acts or omission she and her family may have been involved in, that charges may not have been made yet.

    • Consensus builder may just be an a** licker on the flipside of the same coin. A much needed quality in a leader would be a firm direction regardless of whether it pleases or not.

      Sharizat comes across as overly diplomatic. When she lost to Nurul Izzah, she should have been replaced. A senior defeated by a rookie?

      • Could you not take the term consensus builder to link it to something so denigrating , no matter how much you dislike her? Consensus builder wants things to move on based on a consensus rather than doing a divide and rule , and rather than marginalising anyone. Being diplomatic is to use lots of tact and able to say no with a smile, or to say yes without actually agreeing to it. Well..there are many factors that make a leader, a leader. The one you described is one who practises realpolitik and the current set of leaders in UMNO certainly have abandoned realpolitik starting with the numero uno, who seems to practise accommodating politics and reacts to things in a knee- jerk manner.

      • Postgrad

        It was more to make a point rather than to denigrate her. Somehow she “allows” people around her to take advantage of her.

  10. […] Source: bigdogdotcom […]

  11. The problems with politicians like Shahrizat is they do not know when to call it a day . In the end they have to be booted out .

  12. Dear Big Dog,

    Say what you want about Shahrizat, but your own reporting must be truthful, lest you be thought of as incompetent.

    The loan was not interest-free, as you stated above. 2% interest, on which the repayment is current.

    This is nothing extra ordinary for large loans. As you should know, Westport borrowed RM1 BILLION from the government, at a 1% interest rate.

  13. […] upbeat.  The Mole Editor Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal’s piece in The New Sunday Times is about a fairer dark horse and gutsy Wanita UMNO leader, who stood up to take the bull by its […]

  14. […] upbeat.  The Mole Editor Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal’s piece in The New Sunday Times is about a fairer dark horse and gutsy Wanita UMNO leader, who stood up to take the bull by its […]

  15. […] upbeat.  The Mole Editor Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal’s piece in The New Sunday Times is about a fairer dark horse and gutsy Wanita UMNO leader, who stood up to take the bull by its […]

  16. […] upbeat.  The Mole Editor Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal’s piece in The New Sunday Times is about a fairer dark horse and gutsy Wanita UMNO leader, who stood up to take the bull by its […]

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