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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Rosmah vs Azizah : Who spends more
By Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle
PKR renegade Lokman Nor Adam who is now part of Umno’s Special Affairs Think-Tank Department seems to have a detailed knowledge of PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s wardrobe, and her visits to her dressmaker.
He claims that Wan Azizah used to spend exorbitant amounts on her clothes and that she used to have an extravagant lifestyle when her husband, Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime minister.
The operative words are “used to”. Or perhaps not. After all, why should we believe him?
Also, can anyone remember people making an issue out of Wan Azizah’s clothes, either then or now?
Lokman has made us reflect about the two ladies who are married to the two most powerful men in Malaysia today.
First is Wan Azizah, the wife of Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. She is also the object of Lokman's fixation and her wardrobe - his fetish.
The other is Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak. Her official title of First Lady always sparks furious debate.
Lokman claimed that Wan Azizah’s suits cost RM8,000 each. Like most ladies, Azizah has declined to divulge exactly how much - save to say that really, it's no nowhere near that figure. Of course, she is pleased that people think her clothes look so stylish and expensive but no, she is not telling yet.
Yet even if they did cost RM8,000 each, what are they compared with Rosmah’s alleged shopping trips when she is abroad?
There have been complaints by Malaysian High Commission and MAS staff who are given the task of transporting cargo-loads of her shopping home. They have asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
Wan Azizah is now a politician in her own right. Until her husband became Deputy Prime minister, she was a practicing doctor.
Perhaps Lokman finds it hard to believe that a working woman is financially independent and can afford suits of her choice.
Is Lokman aware of the furore with the specially created department within the Prime minister’s Department called F.L.O.M.? Many people believe that the acronym stands for First Lady of Malaysia. There are other, less complimentary versions of this.
We are not aware of Wan Azizah having such delusions of grandeur. As we said, she is a respected politician.
Rosmah however, does have ambition to enter politics but finds it easier to enter through the back door.
First she had to elbow poor Najib into allocating ample funds, the amount of which has yet to be publicly divulged, to form F.L.O.M.
However, with the unprecedented public outrage, and several thousand people jamming the phone lines wanting to enquire about F.L.O.M., it has now disappeared from Najib’s website.
Second. Rosmah honed her skills in politics by practicing on various people. First it was Deputy Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
One feels sorry for him as he was edged out of the way when Hillary Clinton and Julie Gillard came to visit.
What could Najib say? He was in a spot of bother – not just from the chicken pox but from Muhyiddin demanding to know what was happening and a strong woman saying she would like to have a go at playing DPM. That is why Najib safely camped himself out of harm’s way at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
He was so pleased with his stay that he donated RM5mil from the public purse to the hospital.
But happiness comes with a price and he had to allocate RM 65 million to the wife to renovate the house. He would rather face the awkward questions in parliament about this extravagant amount and fob off the irritating opposition with some flimsy excuse (it always works), rather than refuse his wife. He knows which side his bread is buttered.
No one can hold down an ambitious woman and the next victim was the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
Rosmah apparently took over the evacuation of our students who had made their way to Jeddah. What could Anifah do but wait in the sidelines, wringing his hands?
Kohilan the Deputy Foreign Minister did a runner. He claimed he was lost in the confusion of Cairo and could not be reached. And for added effect, he did not take a bath for two days. It worked. He escaped the reprimand.
Najib gave his wife all the credit for the successful repatriation and managed to name-drop that she had the personal phone number of the House of Saud.
But now that the repressive regimes in the middle-east and north Africa are toppling, Najib must regret saying that he is buddies with autocratic and corrupt rulers.
On the other hand, Wan Azizah does not need added publicity. People are familiar with her and her work.
Perhaps Lokman should ask why ‘The First Lady’ needed to spend USD5 million for a glossy centrespread in an American newspaper?
Rosmah will do anything for publicity and must keep us informed about what she is doing – flying here and there, even to the extent of interrupting her foreign travel with trips back home to attend wedding receptions.
Poor Lokman. He must look for problems where there are none and avoids those that are staring him in the face.
But like they say, the “1Malaysia” spectacle isn’t over till the Fat Lady sings.
Posted by Richard Loh at 4:27 PM