It was widely reported that Sharizat was resigning from their Cabinet post on April 8. Then came reports that she didn’t submit her resignation letter. To too it off, PM Najib applauded her saying she sacrificed herself for the party.
This was what she was reported to have said.
“On April 8, when my term as senator ends, I will step down as… minister,”
The reality is that this is a play of words. Najib and Sharizat must have had an understanding that she step aside gracefully while helping Umno dodge the NFC bullets.
But the keyword here is “step down”. The April 8 date is the time when her Senatorship ends or expires. There is no question of resignation as she is not “stepping down” earlier than that date.
Again, there is no sacrifice on her part like what Najib tried to put a positive spin to this situation. It is Najib’s prerogative to extend her term as Senator so that she can continue as a Cabinet Minister. This announcement by Shahrizat means she has agreed not to push for the extension in return for something from Najib or that Najib has managed to come to terms with Shahrizat.
As Shahrizat could have truly resigned earlier, she managed to stay on without being asked to step down for reasons that we will never know. All we know now is that a deal has been struck with Najib.
There will be endless speculation as to what that deal was but it was enough to make Shahrizat not pursue her request to extend her Senatorship.
So, in reality, it is a case of her term expiring and not one of stepping down like a resignation. Otherwise, when the Parliament is dissolved for GE13, every MP will also be in her same boat – term expired, not renewed.
This is a face saving gesture or wayang kulit (shadow play) as some would like to put it.
The only clarity in the NFC case is that Shahrizat bites the dust and the investigation is never ending and we won’t know when it will see the daylight of prosecution.
Perhaps never. Time will tell.