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Monday, September 5, 2011

A first in Malaysia: Special Raya slot for PM's wife

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:48 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A special slot to air a Hari Raya message from the wife of the prime minister has become a first in Malaysian history.

Commenting on the move, PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar said unlike Rosmah Mansor
, the wives of past prime ministers had never been accorded any special television appearance to deliver Hari Raya message.
"Prior to this, only the prime minister was given such a slot.

"Rosmah is the first person in history other than the prime minister to be given a special slot to deliver Hari Raya message," said Mahfuz.

Mahfuz said it was possible that the special programme was created following pressure from Rosmah herself, adding that it could also be due to Najib's own popularity dropping, as stated by the Merdeka Centre's survey recently.

"After all, as the wife of the prime minister, she is very powerful," quipped the Pokok Sena member of parliament.

Mahfuz (left) further joked that he hoped the Malaysian public would not feel "nauseated" for being forced to repeatedly watch the Hari Raya messages from both prime minister Najib Razak and his wife.

Rosmah has been prominently featured in news since her husband took over from Abdullah Badawi in 2009. Early this year, it was revealed than a whole new division under the Prime Minister's Department had been dedicated to Rosmah, but it was later removed from official documents.

Last year, Rosmah's hosting of a 'First Ladies Summit' drew flak from legal experts, who said the prime minister's wife had no right to use the title which is normally reserved for the wife of the Agong. Following the uprising in Tunisia and Egypt, many opposition leaders drew parallels between the wives of the deposed leaders there and Rosmah's alleged penchant for luxury, including the claim that she spent some US$24 million on an exclusive diamond ring.

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