Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Rosmah seen as PM’s fierce wife, ex-aide tells court

But Rizal Mansor says he regarded the negative descriptions of Rosmah Mansor at the time as inaccurate and rumours intended to paint her in a bad light among civil servants.

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Rosmah Mansor’s former special officer Rizal Mansor told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that members of the civil service were afraid of her as she was seen as a fierce woman capable of influencing the decisions and actions of her husband, then-prime minister Najib Razak.

Rizal, 46, said this view of Rosmah was based on his experience working with members of the civil service as a contract employee in 2009.

“In the eyes of members of the civil service, Rosmah was capable of influencing the (then) prime minister to transfer or demote government officers who opposed or did not follow her requests – or, the term normally used by civil servants, to put them in cold storage.

“Apart from that, I also found Rosmah to be very influential in the government administration, as agencies and government officers were hesitant to deny the requests of the FLOM (First Lady of Malaysia) division and Rosmah.

“The government officers always tried to satisfy and please Rosmah. They would try to fulfil all her requests and demands,” he said, reading from his witness statement during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.

Rizal is testifying in the trial of Rosmah, who faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings ex-managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

Rizal, who is the 21st prosecution witness, said he regarded the negative descriptions of Rosmah at the time as inaccurate and rumours intended to paint her in a bad light among civil servants.

“As the special officer to Rosmah, I always defended her,” he said, adding that he always saw how Rosmah communicated with Najib and how Najib respected her views.

Earlier, Rizal told the court that between May 1, 2009 and May 2018, he was attached to the FLOM division, which was set up after Najib took his oath of office as the sixth prime minister in April 2009.

He said the FLOM division was later renamed as Special Division and he was tasked with managing Rosmah’s official and unofficial activities.

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