Friday, October 22, 2021

I didn’t give myself FLOM title, Rosmah tells court

She says the title was for administrative purposes.

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Rosmah Mansor told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that she had never given herself the First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) title and denied that a division was specially created for her within the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Rosmah, 69, said this during cross-examination by senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram on the third day of her defence trial on three corruption charges relating to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

The wife of former prime minister Najib Razak said the title was for “administrative purposes”.

Sri Ram: Do you agree that FLOM was a title you assumed yourself?

Rosmah: No.

Sri Ram: Who gave you the title?

Rosmah: Nobody gave me the title. It was just for administrative purposes.

“Wives of the (previous) prime ministers weren’t too active in welfare activities or outstanding projects like Permata Negara. They were probably hardly ever called to give keynote addresses outside of the country. So, when my husband was the prime minister, I led a very, very, busy life,” Rosmah added.

Sri Ram then asked if there was a division in the PMO called “The First Lady of Malaysia”, to which Rosmah replied, “I don’t know.”

“That was not my job. I don’t interfere with the PMO,” she said.

Rosmah also said that she never knew whether Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, the wife of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was ever known as the First Lady of Malaysia.

“I don’t know. Perhaps outside (of the country) she is (known as FLOM),” Rosmah added.

Rosmah also said she was prepared to sacrifice herself and bear the attacks on social media for her husband when Najib was prime minister, as Najib had said the attacks were actually meant for him but that she became the soft target on social media.

On Feb 18, the High Court ordered Rosmah to enter her defence on the three charges after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against her.

Rosmah faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes and two charges of receiving RM6.5 million from the managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, Saidi Abang Samsudin, through her former aide Rizal Mansor as gratification to assist Jepak Holdings in securing the integrated hybrid solar photovoltaic system project as well as the genset/diesel maintenance and operation for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations from the education ministry.

The trial before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on Oct 21.

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