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I have heard of Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the current Prime Minister of Malaysia long before she becomes the first lady of Malaysia (FLOM). She is apparently an ambitious woman and has been known to behave like a peacock. And there are stories going around how she chided her husband openly when she was left behind as he walked off the official car to greet people waiting for him in one of the functions. I found it very difficult to believe this kind of story.

Looking at her involvement with the education of bright students, one cannot help but praise her efforts. Her project is able to get the necessary government funding to develop and sustain the program and this augurs well for the educational advancement of these children. Her ability to network with first ladies of other countries is also commendable. I remember how she was able to speak on the telephone with the then first lady of Egypt, the wife of President Mubarak to get a Malaysian student released from detention for being in a supply convoy to Gaza in 2010? That was superb.

I was beginning to like Rosmah though many of her detractors who are closely monitoring her every move and her every word spoken in public, do not share. Her travels to overseas are being questioned as trying to upstage her husband, making herself overly important, as if she has been appointed as an ambassador of a cause like Angelina Jolie for UNICEF. Imagine that Nazri fellow, the de facto law minister having to answer every time for Najib for his wife’s antics!

Some people say you could get things done faster if you go through Rosmah. Such a powerful woman she is. Rumors have it that one of the Secretary Generals of a Ministry was able to get his way because he has good contact with FLOM. I do not think that this kind of perception is good for the Prime Minister.

The other day I came across a posting in one very popular blog, complete with a youtube video on Rosmah’s comments on earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The blogger ridiculed her attempts at sounding to be a smart ass by attributing the disaster to human failings. Looking at he video, I could see that Rosmah is not a person who is content to be just a wife of a PM but she also wants to appear “educated”. Unfortunately though her comments are taken out of context and it looks bad on her husband. And today we see Najib in parliament with all those words of support for Japan as if to cover up his wife’s blunder. Why couldn’t she just express sadness and give her condolences to the people of Japan on behalf of the women of Malaysia for example? In this instance many people see her as a political liability to Najib.

Rosmah Mansor

Rosmah should remember that she is what she is today because of her husband’s position. Her opinion is worthless had she not been the wife of the PM. Note for example, the political spouses of PM of Singapore and Thailand, we never hear them behaving like Rosmah. Just look at Michelle Obama, the spouse of the most powerful man in the world today, she is ever supportive of her husband. She is a Princeton educated lawyer but I bet my bottom dollar she would not comment the way Rosmah did on Japan’s catastrophe.

Rosmah has to learn to be diplomatic and be an asset instead of a liability to her husband who, despite what some people say, is a PM I am beginning to respect.

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