Najib Razak has done a marvelous job in exorcising his corruption and money laundering, which had cost Malaysia tens of billions of dollars. As of June 30, 2021, even after having repaid RM12.54 billion of 1MDB’s debt and RM3.8 billion of SRC’s debt, the “outstanding debt” (principal and interest for bonds, sukuk and term loans) amounted to RM39.66 billion (1MDB) and RM1.85 billion (SRC).
However, it seems everything has been forgotten after the former disgraced prime minister spent millions of Ringgit in PR exercise to cleanse his toxic image. Using Facebook and other social media as his political tools, his PR team, paid from the same pool of dirty money stolen from 1MDB scandal, cleverly diverts attention to former Muhyiddin regime’s incompetence. It worked like a charm.
His Facebook page has about 4.5 million followers, even though at least 70% of them are fake accounts and bots. Nevertheless, the fact that there are thousands of followers, mostly Malays, who actually believed Najib personally updates his Facebook goes to show the crook still commands legions of gullible and ignorant supporters. But there’s one problem.
The PR team has forgotten one important factor – Rosmah Mansor. Not only the wife of Najib is still extremely unpopular, the entire family members of Najib Razak are tainted. Essentially, a vote for Najib is a vote for Rosmah. And it would be interesting to see if Najib dares to bring his controversial wife to meet the public in the coming 15th General Election campaign.
Less than a month ago, the despicable Najib Razak shamelessly told Reuters in an exclusive interview that he may seek re-election to Parliament in the next general election, despite his conviction. In July 2020, Najib has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.
Confident that lame duck PM Ismail Sabri would interfere and bend the rules to facilitate his re-election, Mr Najib told his supporters in his constituency Pekan – “We should not crave for luxury in anything that we do, because luxury and material goods are not the determinants of our success. If we show off too much and people say we are arrogant, that will be the cause of our defeat.”
Officiating the Pekan UMNO branch assembly meeting on Saturday (Oct 16) he lectured his party grassroots – “People do not like leaders who are show-off, lavish or arrogant in terms of their attitude and how they carry themselves”. It’s unsure if Najib was speaking from his own experience, or was mocking his own wife Rosmah, popularly known as the Imelda Marcos of Malaysia.
Perhaps Najib had forgotten that the same social media can be the tools to remind people of his families’ craze and crave for luxury not many moons ago. Perhaps he didn’t care at all, knowing very well the Malay voters in his constituency were too dumb to understand the 1MDB scandal or the GST (goods and services tax). Even if they understood, they could easily be bought
However, while the crook could win his stronghold Pekan constituency again, his laughable warning to UMNO Malay grassroots not to be obsessed with luxury has backfired, sparking ridicule and reigniting nightmare during Najib administration (April 2009 – May 2018). It seems the netizens still remember vividly how the family of crooks lived the same disgusting way described by Najib.
The lifestyle of the wicked and witch couple – Najib and Rosmah – was exposed when they stunningly lost the 2018 General Election, the first defeat of the Barisan Nasional, the ruling government of 61 years since independence in 1957. People finally understood that the theft committed by the Najib families was much bigger than a couple of handbags and some diamond rings.
On the night of May 17, 2018, police raided three luxury Pavilion Residences condominiums in Kuala Lumpur owned by Najib Razak’s children. Besides RM117 million cash and RM1 billion worth of 12,000 pieces of jewellery, an eye-popping 567 handbags consisted of luxury handbags from 37 different designers – including Chanel, Prada, Hermes and ultra-luxury Bijan – were confiscated.
The lavish lifestyle of Rosmah, however, was revealed as early as 2017 when Najib was still the most powerful PM who walked the corridors of power. The US-DOJ investigation found that the “”wife of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1″ had purchased a 22-carat pink diamond necklace using money siphoned from 1MDB. In fact, the US$27 million diamond was purchased in 2013.
Najib consistently lied that the infamous US$680 million (RM2.6 billion) found in his banks was “donation” from Saudi royal family. His favourite argument that he was not a crook is that he had returned US$620 million from the initial US$680 million. But he didn’t return the US$620 million to his self-proclaimed Saudi royal family because the money was unused.
In truth, he returned it because he needed to siphon it to somewhere else, as instructed by Jho Low, partner-in-crime of Najib. The US$620 million was returned to Tanore Finance Corp in August 2013 because Rosmah wanted to buy the US$27,300,000 (RM114 million) pink diamond. The next month (Sept 2013), payment was made to jewellery designer Lorraine Schwartz, known as “Jewish Queen of Oscar Bling”.
It’s an open secret that Rosmah’s appetite for diamonds was legendary. As early as 2011, Malaysians were flabbergasted with an explosive revelation that she had purchased a RM24 million diamond ring. At first, she kept silent, refused no comment, before her aide and supporters argued that she could actually afford it because the so-called First Lady had been saving since young.
Obviously, it’s both hilarious and puzzling that Najib had the cheek to lecture people not to crave for luxury and UMNO leaders not to show off too much of their lavish lifestyle. Even if the crook has forgotten about his spendthrift wife, he should remember how his dirty money was used to host her daughter Nooryana’s lavish wedding in 2015, where flowers alone cost RM3 million.
Perhaps his real message to UMNO leaders was to be smarter than him. He probably meant it’s perfectly alright to steal people’s money and plunder national coffers, as long as UMNO leaders pretend to be poor, or at least don’t flaunt their wealth publicly in Malaysia. Najib’s wisdom was for all the corrupt UMNO Malays to hide their ill-gotten money, or spend it only in overseas.
Unfortunately, social media is a double-edged sword. With sufficient money to spend on PR, it could repair Najib’s image, to a certain extent. But it could also trigger people’s anger, especially now that the government of Ismail Sabri has granted crooked Rosmah the special privilege to fly to Singapore to be with her daughter who is expected to give birth in the country.
People were not impressed that after Rosmah, who is facing money laundering trials, a convicted Najib is about to get the same privilege to fly to Singapore. Having 12,000 pieces of jewellery and more than RM100 million cash at home was already bad. It becomes worse when the family of crooks wanted to have a reunion at one of the most luxurious hospital in Singapore.
Source : Finance Twitter