So thick is the public cynicism that when Najib’s office announced on Monday he would be traveling to Saudi Arabia to pay his last respect to the late Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the first thoughts were whether Najib and his wife had timed their trip to meet Maira, who is reported to be in the same region.
Nawawi Mohamad (Hornbill Unleashed)
Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor must surely be the latest members anointed to the club of the world’s richest and most infamous, thanks in part to their future in-law Maira Nazarbayev plus their own scandal-ridden lifestyle.
Sad for Malaysians but when the names of their leader and his family are mentioned, it is with the same sort raised eyebrows and derision that accompany conversations regarding Imelda Marcos’ notoriously free-spending ways. The latest international scandals – and there are more than one – surrounding Maira, the former ‘wife’ of the brother of Kazakhstan’s despotic president does not help.
So thick is the public cynicism that when Najib’s office announced on Monday he would be traveling to Saudi Arabia to pay his last respect to the late Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the first thoughts were whether Najib and his wife had timed their trip to meet Maira, who is reported to be in the same region. The jet-setting Maira had made it know through her publicist that she was at the Dubai airport en-route to a “long-planned” family vacation in Europe. Najib is however due to return to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
Certainly, Maira and the Najibs seem to have much in common. Her son and their daughter are engaged to be married but public attention is not on the young lovebirds, who make a good-looking couple. Talk has been rife that Rosmah was “so proud” of her daughter’s catch because of the Nazarbayev’s huge wealth.
They had also hoped to garner same sort of public love for the pair as Britian’s Prince William and Kate Middleton had enjoyed last year. Obviously, the ambitious and rather unpopular Malaysian first lady had more on her mind than President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s reputation as a cruel tyrant who oppressed his people. Neither she nor her husband displayed any qualms about their daughter becoming part of such a family.
As such, the scandal that erupted after the New York Post reported that Maira’s husband Bolat had accused her and her son of being international serial swindlers who cheated him of a $20 million apartment was a tremendous let down for the Rosmah. Surely, the backbiting and bitching that went on in private conversations around Putrajaya, the Malaysian administrative capital, must have been humiliating. In cyberspace, postings that ‘karma’ had finally caught up with her abounded.
Russian Mafia, missing man and NFC apartment
Maira’s problems with Bolat are still being played out, with pundits suspecting that the wily Kazakh was taking advantage of Daniyar’s reluctance for bad publicity just as the latter was about to marry the Malaysian PM’s daughter to pressure Daniyar and his mother into returning the ownership of the apartment to him. Daniyar is Maira’s son from an earlier relationship.
Maira has refuted all the allegations. “These scandalous allegations are completely untrue and have been made without any substantiation whatsoever,” she said. However, Bolat has not issued any denial and his lawyers have declined comment.
Maira has also been reported to have links with Organisatziya or the Russisn Mafia. The connection was reported by Indonesian newspaper Kompas in August 2011, which also drew attention to a fabulous diamond ring purportedly worth $24 million that was alleged to have been a dowry gift from Maira to Rosmah. A diplomatic row between Malaysia and Indonesia was averted after Kompas apologized but the daily didn’t retract the article. Najib has denied Rosmah had ever bought the ring and chided the Indonesian report as being irresponsible it could affect Malaysia’s ties with Kazakhstan.
The 50-year-old and still-attractive Maira has also been linked to prominent Kazakhstani businessman Edgar Salduzi, 36, who has been missing from his home in Almaty since August 2010, after an alleged dispute with her as reported by Kazakhstan Newsline (http://www.newsline.kz/news.php?y=2010&m=08&d=19#0).
Coincidentally, Malaysia’s national cattle breeding firm NFC bought a RM1.7million luxury apartment in Almaty purportedly for use as their branch office. The purchase however sparked red-hot speculation that it was a wedding gift for Daniyar and Najib’s daughter, Nooryana.
Most controversial and scandalous PM
Things are certainly looking bleak for the 58-year old Najib. His tenure has been the most scandal-marked since Malaysia obtained independence from British rule in 1957. Distinguished-looking but weak-willed, Najib has disappointed supporters with his lack of focus and leadership since taking over as PM in April 2009. Very little progress has been made in Malaysia despite a slew of bombastic-sounding economic programs and social reforms.
Some experts fear the waste of the past 3 years will result in Malaysia falling further in the global economic down-cycle while socially, democratic freedom in the country is at its most controversial. While abolishing draconian emergency laws, Najib also ordered the most bloody police crackdowns on civilian protesters in recent years. It is also telling that it is during his watch that the largest-ever public demonstration took place with some 250,000 people gathering at the city centre in late April to clamor for clean elections.
Never has any Malaysian PM been so controversial as Najib in both his administration and private life. However, he is not yet as reviled as another notorious Malaysian figure – former premier Mahathir Mohamad. At 86, Mahathir fears for his legacy. He is now remembered more for his dark deeds, wasteful mega projects and corrupt rule, with journalist Barry Wain accusing him of having squandered $100 billion in his bestseller‘Malaysian Maverick’.
The Chinese in Malaysia say unlike Mahathir, Najib ‘doesn’t know how to wipe his mouth after eating’ – referring to the Scorpene submarines procurement in which he has been accused of taking illicit commissions worth hundreds of millions of euros. Certainly as far as corruption scandals go, Najib beats Mahathir hands down.
Although the corruption alleged in Scorpenes deal is paltry compared to the older man’s alleged $100 billion, an open court trial has begun in France. The trial is to check out a complaint that naval giant DCNS had ‘bribed’ Malaysian officials including Najib for sanctioning the acquisition.
It is doubly sad for Malaysians as the submarines are of little use for their shallow coastal waters – a bitter betrayal of trust indeed if proven to be so by the Paris court. And why has no inquiry begun in Malaysia? Well, it can no longer be denied that Najib and his Umno party have suppressed all attempts to hold an inquiry on the matter, with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission keeping both eyes tightly shut to calls for action.
It’s Anwar’s fault …
The latest news that Jasbir Singh Chahl, a key lieutenant to Najib’s close friend Razak Baginda who brokered the DCNS deal, has agreed to testify in Paris has sent shudders through the Umno top leadership. Online bloggers and commentators talk of a gag order on “anything Scorpene that is unfavorable to Najib”, while the government-controlled media and Najib’s supporters are now trying to turn and pin the blame on his arch rival – Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Zulkifli Noordin, a former member of Anwar’s PKR party who has since switched his political allegiance to Najib, claims he was instructed by Anwar to ensure that Najib was implicated in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial although there was no “a iota” of evidence against Najib. Immediately, the Umno-BN press seized on the news and played it up to the maximum.
Read more at: http://hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/31100/