Worrisome takes a light-hearted look at Najib’s takeover of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry after Shahrizat’s fall from grace.
To a query from his American lady biographer about how he met his favourite wife, Hartini, Soekarno candidly related this important episode in his life.
He had been invited to the AGM of the Women’s Institute of Indonesia. He arrived in the impressive uniform of the Admiral of the Indonesian navy. When he had settled on his chair his eyes swept across the 500 women in the hall. His eyes caught beautiful Hartini seated within range of his eyes. He said it was love at first sight and thereafter he could not take his eyes off her. He did not listen to a word of the rambling speech by the bulky president of the Women’s Institute. His mind went into overdrive to devise a plan to meet her and find out where she was from.
When his turn came to speak he praised the Women’s Institute sky high and thanked them for their great contributions to national development. In conclusion, he said that he wanted the Institute’s president to introduce every member in the hall so that he could thank each one of them personally. He went through a tedious exercise just to know one woman’s name and her address! When her turn came, Soekarno held her hand for an unusually long time, looked intensely and longingly into her eyes and listened very carefully to her name and where she came from.
The next day an emissary from the President was at her doorstep. The emissary brought back the news that she was married to a soldier and had a couple of children. By presidential command, the triplicate “talaq” was arranged. The soldier was posted to Papua New Guinea and Soekarno married Hartini, QED.
Now Najib has taken over the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development after Shahrizat fell from grace. Najib has under him thousands of Wanita members. All is obviously not well with the Wanita movement. After the Umno AGM circus, where Shahrizat enjoyed a lot of pretended support, her deputy, Kamilia, called upon her to resign. Najib’s meeting with the Wanita Movement has produced an uneasy peace. It is certain that Kamilia will be rewarded for changing her mind. Najib will have plenty on his hands.
Kamilia is on record as having said that rural folk, the support base of the Wanita, are well-informed about the “cowgate” scandal while Wanita member, Habiba, claimed that her boobs are bigger than those of poor under-endowed Shahrizat! This could trigger a boob war in the Wanita movement and then Najib will have both his hands full! It will require all his manipulative skill and his undivided attention to solve.
When I attempted to discuss Najib’s move to take over Shahrizat’s ministry with a Malay friend, he dismissed the topic with: “What can you expect when you put a fox to guard a chicken coop with some delicious chicks?”
In Soekarno’s case, Ratna Seri Dewi, an ex-Japanese geisha girl, replaced Hartini as the favourite in his heart. Rosmah knows her husband well and his track record, like that of Barisan’s, is there for all to see. She will be best advised to watch out.
Worrisome is the pseudonym of an occasional contributor to Thinking Allowed
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