By Bernie Yeo
DATIN Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of disgraced former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has long been known as a domineering woman with an overbearing nature who wears the pants in the household.
And so, when news that she has been left stunned and in tears broke out recently, one cannot help but think how the mighty has fallen, especially now that her husband is no longer the country’s prime minister.
This is following the High Court’s decision to call her to enter her defence on three counts of corruption to help a company secure the RM1.25 bil solar project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
Things have not been looking up for the former self-styled ‘first lady of Malaysia’ following her husband’s shock defeat in 2018’s general election (GE14). Properties were raided and luxury items were seized as part of the ongoing investigation into Najib’s role in the 1MDB scandal.
In addition to the three graft charges, she is also facing 12 charges for money laundering and five counts of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), thus bringing the total number of charges against her to 20.
When her husband was Prime Minister, it is often said that while Najib was the official premier, nothing much goes without a nod from his wife, with the infamous ‘Can I advise you something’ audio recording being a further testament to that.
Despite occupying no official position, Rosmah wielded considerable power and influence and have, in the past, placed herself in a position where she was able to influence certain crucial decisions.
Her notoriety in the political arena, coupled with her expensive spending habits and jet-setting lifestyle, has made her the most visible, and not to mention, the most disliked among all spouses of Malaysia’s former prime ministers.
While she is currently the only former Malaysian first lady to have criminal charges brought against her, whether or not she will serve time in jail, only time will tell. – Feb 23, 2021
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