Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rosmah Mansor - political maverick or big spender?

Rosmah Mansor - political maverick or big spender?Rosmah Mansor is always in the news for all the wrong reasons. Thrown into the high echelon of society when Najib became Prime Minister, she walks a tight rope where her public and private life is constantly scrutinised to the minutest detail. As the First Lady of Malaysia, consistently in the limelight, it can be difficult to hide the blemishes.
Unlike other FLOM, she comes across as a high flier, projecting a high and mighty attitude, confident, intelligent, and sociable. Assuming her title as First Lady, she has gone through a tumultuous time. On one side, accolades are showered at her such as front page advertisements in the New York Times to greet her, receiving the ANKARA award for social responsibility, International Peace and Harmony award from the United States, and besides her other domestic Royal awards.
On the other side, she is likened to the Empress Dowager amd manipulating the Emperor. Her shopping sprees are a legend, with tanker loads transported back on Malaysia Airlines.
Going about her daily routine, with pomp and purpose, what betray her steely composure are her unconventional remarks made during her public speeches
Campaigning in the recent by-elections, her infamous remark: “Look at my face; do I look like i am lying? “
“Women should know better than to walk alone in dark and deserted areas”
“You must remember, when you point to others, there are four other fingers pointing right back at you.”
When Najib’s eligibility to take over the Premiership was questioned by many quarters, she made a personal appeal in the newspapers to people to accept Najib’s imminent Premiership as "heavenly fated". The public should accept the "fate" that Najib will be Prime Minister. Well, Najib went on to become Prime Minister as she predicted.
Those who knew her from yesteryears tell of her younger days in campus, going for lectures riding pillion on her boyfriend’s motorbike. Graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Arts and Anthropology, she went on to do her Masters Degree in Indonesia. As an academician, she lately resigned her Chancellorship in UNISEL.
One of the earliest incidents that marred her reputation was when RPK of Malaysia Today made a statutory declaration, alleging Rosmah’s involvement in the Murder of Mongolian Altantuya. She has maintained her innocence on the allegation, and soon RPK slowly disappeared from the country. Another similar Statutory Declaration by private investigator P Subramaniam was retracted a day lafter it was made. The private investigator also disappeared.
Since then, the public view of Rosmah has taken a downturn.
Her recent frequent overseas trips were frowned upon, with the public questioning whether such trips were funded by the Government. On one occasion, while overseas, she was reported to have flown back for Taib Mahmud’s wedding before flying off again.
Her jet setting ways were condemned by the public, as a waste of money, and the comment was: if she insisted on such jet setting ways, she should replace Anifah as Foreign Minister. Anifah however, on one occasion complimented her: that her foreign visits have benefited the country’s foreign relationships.
Sad to say, the Malaysian public is not very tactful when it comes to her personal life with personal attacks on her stature. She may be on the plump side, but wouldn’t be considered fat by any standards.
For God’s sake, she is nearly 60years old. Do we expect our First lady to look like Angelina Jolie or for that matter Ummi Hafilda? She should look like our grandmother at that age, but no, she is still picture perfect, and by any standards, still very sexy.  Some had gone to the extent to say that she had a facelift to improve her looks, as if that is very uncommon!!. Already, she is quite presentable and she reminds us of Imelda Marcos.
Recently criticised for having a tasteful office in the PM’s department, Umno minister Nazri Aziz came out to defend her with a statement that no permanent or contract staff were specifically designated to the wife of the prime minister. This has lain to rest any doubt that government funds were wrongly utilised. Or has it?
When Najib was down with sickness, she reportedly took it upon herself to receive some foreign dignitaries, which led to others criticizing her role. The critics were quick to add that she was sidelining the DPM, who should be doing the job.
Rumoured allegations of mega contracts to Rosmah’s cronies have surfaced on the Internet on a regular basis that led many to question the First Lady’s Role in the country’s politics.
Today, as Rosmah takes it in her stride to go about her duties as First Lady of Malaysia, the public's eye will continue to scrutinize her every movement, whether for love or hate of her, she will continue to be a woman of controversy.
Whatever our perception of her is, she will still go down in history as Malaysia’s First Lady, active in politics, academics, social welfare, and a charismatic personality in her own right, a fighter and our first feminine political maverick. Or big spender.

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