Rosmah Mansor
روسمه منصور
Rosmah in 2010
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
In role
3 April 2009 – 9 May 2018
MonarchsMizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Preceded byJeanne Abdullah
Succeeded bySiti Hasmah Mohamad Ali
Spouse of the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In role
7 January 2003 – 3 April 2009
MonarchsSirajuddin
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
Deputy Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Preceded byEndon Mahmood
Succeeded byNoorainee Abdul Rahman
Chancellor of University of Selangor
In office
February 2006 – February 2011
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byRaja Tan Sri Dato' Seri Arshad bin Raja Tun Uda
Personal details
Born
Rosmah binti Mansor

(1951-12-10) 10 December 1951 (age 72)
Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Spouse(s)Abdul Aziz Nong Chik (div.
Najib Razak (m. 1987)
Children4 (including Riza Aziz)
EducationKolej Tunku Kurshiah
Alma mater

Rosmah binti Mansor (Jawi: روسمه بنت منصور; born 10 December 1951) is the second wife of former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak. Like her husband, she was implicated in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal (1MDB). On 1 September 2022, she was found guilty of corruption in relation to a school electricity project, fined $303m and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.[1][2]

Early life and education

Rosmah received her secondary education at Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, Negeri Sembilan.[3]

Personal life

Rosmah and her husband Najib in 2009

Rosmah was formerly married to Abdul Aziz Nong Chik. They have two children, Riza Aziz and Azrene Soraya. In 1987, she married Najib Razak and they have two children, Nooryana Najwa and Mohd Norashman, and have amassed a huge amount of wealth, which Rosmah claimed to have saved since childhood.[4][5]

Corruption

1MDB scandal

Main article: 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal

Rosmah and her husband's lavish lifestyle and extravagant purchases[6] while Najib Razak was in power caused anger among the citizens in Malaysia.[7][8] Following her husband's loss in the Malaysian 14th general election, the couple were under investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, in which over USD$7.5 billion went missing from the fund.[9]

On 12 May 2018, three days after her husband and then incumbent prime minister lost the general election, a flight manifest named Najib and Rosmah as passengers of a private jet scheduled to leave from an airport near Kuala Lumpur for Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta.[10] In response, the Immigration Department, upon the orders of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, imposed a travel ban on Rosmah and her husband, barring their exit from the country.[11][12][13]

Since 16 May 2018, the Malaysian police have searched six properties linked to Rosmah and Najib as part of the investigation into the 1MDB scandal. Malaysian police seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, 72 large luggage bags containing cash in multiple currencies, and other valuables. The Malaysian police commissioner confirmed that the police seized goods with an estimated value of between US$223 and US$273 million.[14][15] The police described it as the biggest seizure in Malaysian history.[16]

A breakdown of the items seized included:

Rosmah had been summoned three times by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to assist an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of money banked into her husband's account tied to the 1MDB scandal. The first was on 5 June 2018, where she was questioned for 5 hours; the second on 26 September 2018 for 13 hours; and the third was on 3 October 2018,[18][19] which led to her arrest on the same day.[20]

On 4 October 2018, Rosmah pleaded not guilty to 17 charges of money laundering involving about MYR7mil at the Sessions Court under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism and Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act. The court set MYR2 million bail and ordered that she surrender her passport and not to approach any of the witnesses.[21][22][23]

Lawsuit by Global Royalty Trading SAL

On 26 June 2018, Global Royalty Trading SAL, a jewellery firm based in Lebanon, filed a suit against Rosmah over a jewellery consignment. It alleged that the jewellery delivered to Rosmah on 10 February 2018 were for her to evaluate and thereafter purchase those she selected, and to return the remaining. On 22 May 2018, Rosmah had acknowledged receipt of the jewellery but in her statement claims that the items were no longer with her as they had been seized by the authorities. Global Royalty said if the items were unrecoverable in full or in part, Rosmah would be held liable to pay the full cost.[24][25]

Since the jewellery were confiscated as part of 1MDB investigation, the Malaysian government intervened in the lawsuit by a Lebanese jeweller against her. The case began hearing on 27 July 2018.[26]

In its statement of claim, Global Royalty Trading SAL alleged that Rosmah was a long-standing customer and that it would send consignments of jewellery to her on her demand.[27] The news created more resentment by Malaysians questioning how the wife of ex-Malaysian Prime Minister could afford to buy even one of the cheapest items on the list.[28]

Then-Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the delivery by Global Royalty Trading SAL of 44 pieces of jewellery linked to Rosmah Mansor were not declared to the Customs Department, as they should have been for any import of valuable goods into Malaysia.[29] Undeclared imports were not permitted, and as a result, the jewellery could be seized.[30]

On 25 May 2022, the High Court was told that Lebanese jewellery company Global Royalty Trading SAL and Rosmah were staking claim on a US$220,000 white gold diamond bracelet which was then stored in Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) vaults.[31][32][33]

Claims by Adi Hasan AlFardan Jewellery

Adi Hasan AlFardan Jewellery, another high-end jeweller, requested the Malaysian police to return over US$5mil (MYR20.69mil) worth of seized jewellery which was delivered to Rosmah in March 2018. According to the Dubai-based company, the jewellery were handed to Rosmah but the payment had not been made. Adi AlFardan was also reported to be escorted by officers from the Prime Minister office to bypass Malaysian Customs and Immigration checks during his four visits to deliver the jewellery to Rosmah. According to the law firm hired by Adi Hasan AlFardan Jewellery, they waited for further instruction from their client before considering taking legal proceedings against Rosmah.[34]

Sarawak school electricity project

In 2019, Rosmah was charged with corruption in relation to a project to provide solar hybrid power for rural schools in Sarawak.[35] On 18 February 2021, Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan ruled that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against Rosmah on all three charges of soliciting and receiving bribes and ordered Rosmah to enter her defence.[36][37][38][39]

On 23 December 2021, the High Court disallowed the prosecution's move to impeach Rosmah over contradictions between her evidence in her current corruption trial and her statement as recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) during a money laundering investigation. Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said Rosmah had attempted to explain the differences in court.[40]

On 4 February 2022, Rosmah's bribery and corruption trial were further deferred as the final witness was unable to attend the court proceedings.[41] On 15 February 2022, Rosmah’s lead lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader tested positive for Covid-19, and two of her other defence counsels had close contact with him. As a result, the Kuala Lumpur High Court postponed to Feb 23 her corruption trial linked to a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project.[42]

Rosmah Mansor
Born
Rosmah binti Mansor

(1951-12-10) 10 December 1951 (age 72)
Criminal statusReleased on bail pending appeal
SpouseNajib Razak
Conviction(s)
  • 3 counts for corruption under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009
Criminal penalty10 years of imprisonment and fine of RM970 million

On 1 September 2022, Rosmah was found guilty of three charges of corruption and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, and fined RM970 million.[43][44][45] She had pressured then Minister of Education, Mahdzir Khalid to award a contract to Jepak Holdings. Rosmah asked Jepak's owner to consult real estate developer Desmond Lim on how to receive the bribe.[35]

Rosmah is currently out on bail of MYR2 million while pending her appeal. Rosmah's sentencing took place merely a week after her husband Najib Razak started serving his 12-year sentence at Kajang Prison upon the loss of Najib's final appeal.[46]

Controversies and issues

Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa

Main article: Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa

In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra said that he was "reliably informed" that Rosmah was one of three individuals who were present at the crime scene when Altantuyaa Shaariibuu was murdered on 19 October 2006.[47] Dr Shaariibuu Setev, the father of Altantuyaa Shaariibuu, has asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation into an allegation by Raja Petra saying the police should look seriously into the allegations as it might provide them with fresh evidence in their case.[48]

Raja Petra appeared to have distanced himself from the statutory declaration in a television interview with TV3, saying its accusations linking Najib and Rosmah to the murder were repeating information passed onto him by opposition figures, rather than information he knew to be true himself.[49] He appeared to have stated that he did not genuinely believe that Rosmah was at the murder scene.[50] The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement alleged that the interview had been heavily edited and spin doctored in favour of Prime Minister Najib Razak just in time for the upcoming Sarawak state elections.[51][52] Raja Petra also denied that he did not believe Rosmah was at the scene saying that the interview was "chopped up".[53] He also later clarified and pointed out that he had always been consistent in relation to the statutory declaration, saying that he had never directly accused Rosmah of being at the scene of the murder, merely repeating what was told to him.[54][55]

Comments on Japan's tsunami and earthquake

Main article: 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

Rosmah's comment on Japan's quake-tsunami disaster:[56]

Japan's earthquake and tsunami is a result of negligence in conducting environmental-friendly developments.

To me, this is a lesson to other countries, that in everything they do or in whatever development they plan, they should study the surrounding environment and connect it with climate change and green technology.

'First Lady of Shopping'

Rosmah was alleged to be a compulsive shopper. In 2012, she was named the “first lady of shopping”, for allegedly spending A$100,000 (RM325,000) at a Sydney boutique.[57] The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was called upon to investigate these allegations.[58] In 2014, Rosmah purchased items amounting to $130,625 at a Chanel store in Honolulu, Hawaii.[59][60] Rosmah and Najib were alleged to have spent more than $15 million of 1MDB money on luxury goods.[59]

Passport return 2021

On 15 October 2021, Rosmah was allowed to temporarily retake her passport so that she could travel to Singapore to visit her pregnant daughter who was then expected to give birth.[61] Rosmah was expected to return her passport by December 6 and was to return to Malaysia by November 21. However, when the date of her court hearing rolled around on December 2, Rosmah did not show up in court, as she was still in Singapore.[62] The youth wing of Malaysian political party Bersatu called for Rosmah's passport to be cancelled, and for her to be brought back into Malaysia immediately.[63]

Honours

Honours of Malaysia

Honorary degrees

See also

References

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