Oh Rafidah!

The woman is infuriating and in constant denial about herself. In her 34 years in government service, everyone will struggle to find a time when she has been candid about her own shortcomings.

I remember sitting in a bank’s HQ, as they were hosting a forum and had the erroneous notion that Rafidah Aziz, minister of international trade and industry, former academic and one student of the Bukit Bintang Girls School would be nice to them.

Nice does not go well with Rafidah, as she has bullied people into submission when she knows she has you.

And indeed she gnawed at the country manager of the bank in his own premise in front of his own staff. The only thing running in my head is, why does not someone just tell her to stuff it?

Or the other Rafidah, the one that ran across the stage to sandiwara with Mahathir Mohamad when he announced his departure at the Umno assembly in 2001. The crying schoolgirl with her arms about her mentor asking him to not quit.

But who is Rafidah?

The act

Rafidah has always been a supporter of race politics. Throughout the discussions about change, Rafidah has always been on the sidelines, unwilling to commit.

As a pragmatist she was more willing to collect the benefits of the system rather than change it to fit a win-all outcome. She is always interested in having her corner, and when she has established her corner, she does not stomach dissent.

For almost twenty years, international trade and industry were synonymous with the minister from Kuala Kangsar – aptly earning the iron lady tag.

Perhaps with the implicit limitations of the male dominant Umno culture, for her to rise above means she has to be fussy, demanding and loud. These she was, without apologies.

However she was always careful, never to overextend herself, happy in her own fiefdom.

The only reasonable way to explain her is that she was a control freak over what she felt was hers, and gave in to the power of Mahathir Mohamad because he was the alpha male to her.

Most of the other guys do not measure up to her.

The closing act

It is her nature, that she will have to be dragged out of politics – nothing else will do. There will be no graceful exit – she is too loud for that. Those who will replace her will get her approval after she leaves.

She just has to be content with the multitude of directorships she will be offered upon her departure from PWTC.

There is no resolution for Shahrizat her deputy not to challenge her for the wanita chief post, although media is trying to play up that she won’t.

My money is on a challenge, and I am putting my money on it too.

Sorry old gal, live by the sword and well… ______ by the sword.

She lost in 1996 to Siti Zaharah Sulaiman and there are more reasons today, and more people reasoned to her departure today than 12 years ago.

All that remains is for Shahrizat to put her name and the deed will be done.

Don’t look all upset Rafidah, you’ve more than most have added to the culture of not keeping to your word in Umno. It is a party of expediency, so why blame people if they play that trick on you and make you expandable?

I’m sure I said the sword thing earlier.

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