Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is probably one of the most famous (or should we say infamous?) wife of a Prime Minister in the country.
Many have been following with glee the court cases that might just prove that she is guilty of corruption and money laundering, making long-standing belief of her not-so-nice persona an indisputable truth instead of just being a rumour.
However, the case is still ongoing and we should not jump the gun and pass judgement before a judge does. After all, isn't a person innocent until proven guilty?
In case you've missed it, we've compiled some of the highlights from the court case where Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5mil from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to help the company secure a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project in Sarawak schools in 2017.
If convicted, Rosmah can be jailed for up to 20 years. She is also facing charges of money laundering and tax evasion, which will be heard separately.
Throughout her court case, there were many interesting allegations made against her. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
#1 Rosmah (allegedly) had her own division under PMO
According to this report by the New Straits Times (NST)
, a witness told the court that Rosmah had a division under the Prime Minister's Department (PMO) called the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM).
In case you don't know, there's no role of a "First Lady" in our country. It's a very American thing. No other wife of a prime minister before or since who've had their own division in a ministry either.
Rosmah's former Special Officer Datuk Rizal Mansor, who worked for her between 2009 and 2018, also said that any request from FLOM was carried out without any "bureaucratic hindrance".
He had also said that Rosmah was feared by the civil servants who believed that she had the power to put them in cold-storage or transfer them far from their homes.
Rizal was initially jointly charged with Rosmah, but charges against him was later dropped. He is now a witness and have been placed under the witness protection programme.
#2 RM100,000 per month were spent on cybertroopers to maintain good publicity
According to Rizal, Rosmah gave him an allocation of RM100,000 per month to manage a group of cybertroopers to safeguard her image.
The cybertroopers monitored and countered negative publicity against Rosmah, many of which centered around her expensive taste in handbags, her daughter's lavish wedding, rumours of the misuse of the government jet and rumours saying that anyone who wishes to get a government contract having to go through her.
"All these reports eventually became a real liability to the prime minister's image and the PMO then instructed the FLOM division to scale down publicity surrounding Rosmah in the media," he reportedly
said in court.
#3 Many parties received a cut for the approval of the project
According to a report by The Edge
, besides Rosmah, Rizal and Pekan Umno division secretary Datuk Ahmad Aazmey Abu Talib were also given a cut from the RM1.25 billion project.
Former education minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid was also allegedly paid RM60 million, but Mahdzir has denied the allegations against him.
He also allegedly asked for 20 per cent of the total project value.
report shows that Mahdzir had told the court that he was pressured into approving the contract although he had doubts about the company.
Witness in the case, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, who worked for Jepak Holdings Berhad, however, had said in court
that Mahdzir and Ahmad Aazmey were paid the amount by the company.
Rayyan had also said that the company's managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin had threatened him with death when he complained of having to bribe so many politicians so much.
"He eventually apologised to me and even offered me RM20 to RM30 million to keep my mouth shut. However, I want the truth to be revealed," he reportedly said.
#4 Rizal lived a lavish life too
Rizal, officially only earned RM7,000 per month but lived in a RM3.5 million house, owned cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Toyota Vellfire and Honda Odyssey, and went for umrah
almost every year while he worked for Rosmah.
According to a report by NST
, Rizal denied that his lavish lifestyle came from being corrupt.
Rizal claimed that he intended to contest for the UMNO youth chief position against Khairy Jamaluddin and whatever funds he received were "political donations".
He, however, never issued receipts for any of the "political donations", including RM500,000 he allegedly received from Jepak Holdings for the solar project. He also allegedly
had asked for RM25 million cut for the same project.
#5 Rosmah allegedly often receives "gift" to help companies get government contract
A Malay Mail
report stated that Rizal told the court one of his roles as Rosmah's aid was to collect fund or contributions that individuals wished to give her.
He had also said that it was not uncommon for contractors and businessmen to approach Rosmah seeking her assistance in getting government contracts.
“As the wife of the prime minister, there are many parties that wished to see her. Most of them were entrepreneurs and contractors that wanted to lobby for government contracts.
"They would meet her to build a good relationship, and subsequently, hoped that she would help convince Datuk Seri Najib to provide them with the opportunity to secure Malaysian government contracts.
“To my knowledge, there are several entrepreneurs or contractors that successfully secured government projects after they were helped by Datin Seri Rosmah.
“Usually, these entrepreneurs or contractors would give gifts to her as a sign of appreciation for having helped them. These gifts included cash,” Malay Mail
quoted Rizal as saying.
#6 The money was never meant for Rosmah's personal use, said Rizal
According to Rizal, Rosmah never solicited money for herself.
report by The Star
, you can see that Rizal told the court Rosmah never directly solicited money from Jepak Holdings Bhd or those involved with the company.
He claimed that Jepak Holdings wanted to make "political donations" to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to ensure Barisan Nasional's victory in elections but did it through Rosmah so as not to disturb Najib.
Rizal said that he arranged for Rosmah's meeting with Jepak Holdings Bhd but the latter never directly solicited money.
The case is not over
The case against Rosmah is not over, so we don't have all the details but these are the highlights so far.
Let's hope justice prevails, regardless of which way the verdict goes.