Saturday, August 6, 2011

Malaysian PM's Wife Draws Flak

Hantu Laut

The correct translation of "surat layang" is "poison pen letters" not flying letters.Most poison pen letters are character assassination to inflict maximum damage on the person.

Because of anonymity of the sender people who writes "poison pen letters" are considered "pengecut" (coward) because most of what they wrote are either untrue or half-truths.

I must admit Rosmah is too outlandish and too much in the forefront which makes her different from the wives of former prime ministers who stayed much out of the lime light.

Malaysians, particularly the Malays are not used to having their women taking centre stage.

Adorning oneself with luxurious and expensive bags and jewellery is foolhardy if you are wife of a prime minister or minister.Such display of ostentation would surely attract attention and tongue-wagging.

Modesty is a virtue, more so if you are wife of high-profile politicians.

Written by John Berthelsen

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife blazes her own controversial trail

The surat layang – “flying letters” in Malay, or anonymous assaults -- have been flying in record numbers in recent weeks, attacking Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. They are being picked up and spread in volume by the country’s blogosphere, much of it arrayed against the Barisan Nasional, or ruling national coalition.

It isn’t certain who is behind the attacks, but they are clearly tied to national elections expected either late this year or early in 2012. The opposition and the dominant United Malays National Organization are blaming each other and both saying they aren’t involved. But the 60-year-old Rosmah has become a lightning rod for criticism of the administration, most of it centering on her alleged profligacy and her reported dominance of her husband’s political and social agenda. The attacks compare her to both Shakespeare’s Lady MacBeth, who drove her husband to murder and tragedy, and to former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos, who gained fame for her extravagance including owning hundreds of pairs of shoes.

More ominously, as Asia Sentinel has reported, she has been the subject of rumors for several years that she somehow was involved in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, to the extent that a businessman close to her allegedly paid a witness RM750,000 to get out of the country after he said the dead woman had an affair with her husband. In addition, court testimony has indicated that she met with a former aide to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim prior to the aide’s accusing Anwar of raping him.

Those in Anwar’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition say the attacks on Rosmah are coming from Muhyiddin Yassin, the 64-year-old deputy prime minister and protégé of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Muhyiddin played a major role in driving former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from power and has long been regarded as being ambitious to succeed Najib should the prime minister stumble.

Added to that equation, the sources say, are Mahathir’s own ambitions to see his third son Mukhriz, currently the deputy minister of international trade, as deputy prime minister. Muhyiddin also fits Mahathir’s political philosophy more than Najib does. He is an advocate of Ketuanan Melayu – ethnic Malay dominance of the economic and political landscape, in opposition to Najib, who is committed to his so-called 1Malaysia campaign, an attempt to bring other races back into the ruling Barisan Nasional fold. Mahathir has become increasingly strident in his calls to preserve Malay dominance as well.

Sources in the United Malays National Organization blame the accusations on Pakatan Rakyat in an effort to blacken Najib’s reputation and hamstring the ruling national coalition in advance of elections expected later this year or early next. One aide to a top UMNO politician says neither Mukhriz or Muhyiddin would be likely to be attack Rosmah as Najib’s surrogate now. If serious infighting broke out within UMNO, the aide says, it would seriously cripple the party and the Barisan in advance of the polls.
If Mahathir and Muhyiddin were really be after Najib, the aide says, it would make no sense for them to be daring the destruction of their party and the loss of even more of the Barisan’s power, which was severely dented in March 2008 elections when for the first time in the country’s then-50 year history its two-thirds hold on parliament was broken by the opposition. Other sources say that Mahathir himself owes a debt of gratitude to Najib’s father, the late Tun Abdul Razak, for rehabilitating him after he had been kicked out of UMNO by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first prime minister, and that he wouldn’t go against Najib for that reason.

However, observers point out, Muhyiddin hasn’t been publicly defending either Najib or Rosmah lately. One businessman in Kuala Lumpur told Asia Sentinel: “Mahathir and Anwar are both working towards the same objective even if they aren’t working together – get Najib out.”

Rosmah has been controversial since well before Najib became prime minister. The newest sensation appeared a few weeks ago with a report by a Kuala Lumpur-based opposition blog that she had received a US$24.8 million diamond ring from the New York-based Jacob & Co. jewelers and that the ring had passed through customs without duty being charged. Rosmah has said publicly that: "There is nothing I want to say (in relation to the purchase of ring) because I have no time to entertain such issue.” She later denied buying the ring.

She has also been photographed carrying what appears to be a Birkin handbag, designed and manufactured by Hermès of Paris and named for the actress and singer Jane Birkin. Prices of the bags range from US$9,000 to US$150,000 according to the type of material used. She has been photographed as well wearing what appears to be a 65.77 carat white and black Zebra safari bangle bracelet from also Jacob & Co. and made of white and black pave diamonds and 18-karat white gold. Read more.

1 comment:

SM said...

Bro HL,

It was right that Rosmah said that she has no time to entertain such "lies" (about the ring).
If there is proof of her or Najib's involvement, then show it, if's just hearsay.
However, & this is a BIG however, as you said, Rosmah (you have to give it to her) is not like our past PMs' wifes. She isn't going to play the softy, smiley, coy PM's asistant.
It's about time Malaysian men look upon Malaysian women as their equals. Whether it's Rosmah, Ambiga, Rafidah or Teresa Kok (notice I am not placing Sharizat in this group!), Malaysian men have to realise that there are some Malaysian women who have more "balls" (pardon my French) than some of our lapdog Politicians!
As long as Najib is PM, Rosmah is going to blaze her own it or not!
I know I have been critical of her in the past, but I have to face it, Rosmah has earned my respect (unlike most of the so-called men in the MCA, MIC, PPP & Gerakan).
Good for her!