RAFIDAH Aziz came out with guns blazing today after a blog accused her of abusing Approved Permits (AP) when she was international trade and industry minister.
Although she did not name the writer or the blog in her Facebook post today, it was clear her guns were trained at Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for yesterday’s piece titled “Rafidah, Queen of the APs”.
“Do they think the APs belong to my grandfather, to dish out to all and sundry? Don’t ever besmirch the good name of Miti (International Trade and Industry Ministry), which I helmed for 21 years.
“The AP issue was a non-issue. I have explained in Parliament (in 2005), no less! Please do check the Parliament Hansard before slandering me,” she said.
Raja Petra claimed Rafidah abused her power as minister to dish out AP’s to cronies, including to the late Naza founder SM Nasimuddin SM Amin.
“I am not afraid of puny humans, especially those mired in filthy muck and with malice in their hearts.
“I only fear the almighty God, his wrath and retribution. We’ll all have to die one death .
“Better to die for my country than to die after betraying and bringing shame to my country,” she said.
The former Umno Wanita chief also said she was never subservient to any prime minister she served, adding she did not care to agree with them.
“I was not a politician in the government. I was and still am a technocrat with integrity and conscience,” Rafidah said.
She said the recent attacks against her were because she has been speaking up on issues like the seizure of 1Malaysia Development Berhad-linked super yacht The Equanimity.
After the Indonesian authorities seized yacht last week, Rafidah questioned why Malaysia could not locate it when she could, while on a diving trip to Phuket last year.
The yacht, allegedly owned by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, has been seized by Indonesian authorities to assist a US Department of Justice suit to seize assets allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB.
“I do not talk rubbish. I only speak on issues that affect the people and the country ,” said Rafidah.
“I speak out when I see things go awry and they bring problems and shame to the rakyat and country.”
“I speak out when issues arise, when people holding public trust, either give confusing and downright ridiculous ‘explanations, ‘denials’ and overkill ‘defences’ which no one can swallow.
“I speak out on issues and problems directly impact the rakyat … in a perverted twist to the ‘RAKYAT di DAHULUKAN’ (people first) mantra…
“People first? Really? … ‘First’ to be negatively impacted, ‘First’ to bear the burden, ‘First to feel the shame of what some people say or do, ‘First’ to bear the brunt of the effect from anything that turns out messy and problematic ”.
The former minister said she will continue to speak her mind without malice, adding it was her right to speak out.
She also said that she was often asked by strangers and friends why she does not have bodyguards when they see her at a shop, in a mall or when goes to the hospital to pick up her medication.
“I tell them I am retired, so no bodyguard. The reason they asked was because I am so outspoken and blunt. Some people may not like it.
“Of course friends will (tongue in cheek I guess), say … you might end up in bits … or in cement in a steel drum …” Rafidah added.