Malaysian minister in $83-million 'Cowgate' scandal to step down

The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A Malaysian minister says she will step down amid accusations that her family misused a 250 million ringgit ($83 million) government loan meant for a cattle project to purchase condominiums, vacations and a Mercedes.

Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said she will resign as Women, Family and Community Minister on April 8.

The scandal, dubbed "Cowgate," has greatly embarrassed Prime Minister Najib Razak ahead of general elections widely expected to be called by June.

Shahrizat said Sunday she has nothing to do with the cattle project run by her husband and three children but she is stepping down as a "responsible member of the government."

She will, however, stay on as chief of the women's wing in the ruling Malay party.