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Rosmah Mansor, PM Najib’s second wife and sometimes referred to as the first lady of Malaysia (FLOM) has often been associated with controversies. This is one woman who seems to have a mind of her own and is not content with just being the wife of a Prime Minister but wants to be recognised and remembered in her own personal right.

Gossips about her antics are legendary and I would not like to go into them without the facts as that would be tantamount to making up stories. However, it is hard  to look at Rosmah as someone who is modest,non extravagant and non egotistical.

If one compared her to the past wives of Prime Ministers of Malaysia, she is different in the sense that she appears to want to be considered on equal footing as her husband. There are several instances where this perception is no longer a nagging intuition. The first time that I noticed about PM Najib and Rosmah was when they were on television for the first time wishing Malaysians Happy Eid Fitr. While previous PM’s wives sat primly beside their husbands to wish us all, Rosmah was given a special slot to wish us on her own. What the heck!

Then I notice, unlike the others, Rosmah’s picture will be placed prominantly with Najib on welcoming banners when they come to visit the States. I had never seen Dr Siti Hasmah’s picture with  Dr Mahathir, the ex-PM, on such banners when they came to visit any State. Only the picture of the Prime Minister was put up. Obviously Rosmah wanted to be noticed or could it be Najib himself wanting to promote his wife? They behave as if they are Yang Di Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia), our constitutional Head of State.

Then you see Rosmah jet setting in the world leaving her husband to attend some official functions on his own. It was rather flagrant that she would not sacrifice her personal activities to be with her husband. You would never see that ever happening during past Prime Ministers’ tenure unless the wife was ill like ex-PM Abdullah Badawi’s was.

Rosmah was welcomed to New York like a Head of State...but who pays for the NYT advert?

Rosmah was welcomed to New York like a Head of State…but who pays for the NYT advert? (NutGraph)

Then there was the big advertisement,costing more than RM500k in  New York Times no less, welcoming her to the Big Apple  and congratulating her on being awarded some little-known prize for peace and harmony. Apparently according to the newspaper, the advertisement was placed on behalf of the Malaysian government which the said paper  retracted about 18 days later.

Lord, the woman’s ego is palpable and truly blown-up. It is hard to think  that Rosmah has no hand in this publicity and yet it is easy to perceive that Najib could well be the meek husband; henpecked to a tee.

The most recent controversy involving Rosmah was when she travelled on a government jet to Qatar to attend some  function. There was an opposition uproar in parliament on this issue and apparently this was not the first time she travelled on the government jet on her own. Most online commentators agreed that Rosmah has overstepped her position as just a wife to the PM. She is neither  elected nor appointed as a representative of the government to speak on international business. Her penchant to travel on tax-payers’ expense has led people to perceive that Najib is under her control.

The two goons who tried to defend her travel on the government jet did not do a good job. One said her travel was official and the cabinet had approved of her use of the jet and the other, a recently “resuscitated” female UMNO MP who was in the entourage, said that Rosmah went there on her personal capacity having been invited by the Arab sponsor of the meeting. They obviously contradicted each other and they cannot claim that they are misquoted because their speeches are on videotape.

The above are not mere conjectures. They are substantiated with evidences. Just wonder whether a Pakatan -led Federal government would one day open up this case of abuse of government’s facility and bring to trial the people involved. Remember corruption in Malaysia is not subject to Statute of Limitations.

All these episodes have demonstrated that Rosmah has a big ego. She sees herself as worthy of  enjoying all the privileges in her personal capacity rather than that of the wife of the man who is elected by his party to lead the government. As a result ordinary people look down on her. In fact she is a  subject of  constant derision in the non-mainstream and social media. And I don’t think she will ever change as long as Najib is still the Prime Minister. I hope I am wrong.

Unfortunately having an inflated ego can be real addictive.

By the way, if Rosmah truly craves for recognition and  wants to enjoy the privileges of an elected representative, attending glamorous functions and flying in a private jet on her own capacity (and consequently avoid being labelled as actively parasitic), why not she offer herself to stand as an UMNO candidate in the next General Election?

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