Siti Hasmah and not Rosmah was Malaysia’s first “First lady”

Gopal Sri Ram asked Rosmah Mansor in court today whether she was Malaysia’s first “First Lady” and whether the wives of previous prime ministers before Najib Tun Razak were also called “First Lady” — and Rosmah replied she does not know. Actually, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali was Malaysia’s first “First Lady”, followed by Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s wife, Tun Endon Mahmood Ambak.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

(Malaysiakini) – Rosmah Mansor testified that she does not know whether her mother-in-law was the First Lady of Malaysia.

The wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak gave this answer during her corruption trial today related to the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

During cross-examination before the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram was questioning the accused about whether the wives of prime ministers before Najib were known as the First Lady of Malaysia.

In previous trial proceedings before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, the court heard that during Najib’s tenure as prime minister, a First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) division was established in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The court previously heard that the division was tasked with planning and coordinating the official functions that need to be attended by Rosmah, among other duties.

Sri Ram today questioning Rosmah whether Rahah Noah, the wife of Malaysia’s second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein, was ever known as First Lady of Malaysia.

Razak and Rahah were the parents of Najib, as well as the parents-in-law of Rosmah.

“I do not know. I was not yet married to Najib (at the time),” Rosmah said.

When asked by Sri Ram whether then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali was ever known as First Lady of Malaysia, Rosmah answered that she do not know.

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

Rosmah: No.

Sri Ram: You gave yourself the title?

Rosmah: No. Nobody gave me the tile. It was just for administrative purposes.

She explained that as the wife of then premier Najib, she was busy with numerous official functions in Malaysia such as welfare projects like Permata Negara as well as overseas activities such as delivering keynote addresses at international functions.

Rosmah, 70, is facing three charges under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009.

In the first charge, she is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million in bribes from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to help secure an Education Ministry project.

The RM1.25 billion project was intended to supply power to 369 rural schools in Sarawak using a combination of solar and diesel energy.

In the second and third charges, she is accused of receiving RM1.5 million and RM5 million in bribes respectively as a reward for securing the project.

On Feb 18 this year, the High Court ordered Rosmah to enter her defence, following its finding that the prosecution succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against her.

Today is the third day of the defence stage of the trial.