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When BN lost its long-held two-thirds majority of seats in Parliament, many blamed Khairy Jamaluddin and his father-in-law Abdullah Badawi, who was then the prime minister and president of UMNO, the dominant party in the ruling coalition.
None of the UMNO-BN leaders and supporters would admit that it performed badly because it had become rotten to the core, eroded and corroded by corruption, greed and infighting. No, UMNO members who were used to decades of 'lording' it had to find a 'mega-scapegoat'. There was no talk at all of self-examination, self-review or self-cleansing and rejuvenation. From branch to division to the central leadership, UMNO leaders screamed for blood - it was not their fault and someone would have to take the blame.
And that person was Badawi, who to be fair did very little but nap at meetings while his son-in-law called the shots and allegedly scurried away a handsome fortune. But the point here is the blame game - this is how UMNO cleanses itself. It only knows how to sweep dirt under the carpet and that's why it continues to stay dirt-filled and infectious. So when the next crisis comes, Malaysians should not be shocked if UMNO ferrets out another 'scapegoat', no matter how highly-placed that person might now be.
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'Toy-boy' Deepak turning rogue: What's going on here?
Unfortunately, with Najib Razak replacing Badawi, any hope UMNO members harbored of starting anew was soon shattered and with a double blow too. Not only did the scandal-plagued Najib come with grossly overweight baggage, his wife proved to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
At 61, the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia is often the butt of cruel jokes. Her FLOM 'title' is often interpreted as Fat Lady of Malaysia. Yes, the music and dance-loving Rosmah has more than her fair share of bulging curves. And while fortunate to look a decade younger than her age, her name is often enough to strike fear into the hearts of her servants, her associates and even her husband's peers and colleagues in the government and political arena.
No one would take Rosmah for a bimbo despite her penchant for showiness, luxury and shopping sprees. She is very much the power behind Najib's throne and calls the shots for the difficult or tricky situations that come in their way. This was recently exposed by her former 'toy-boy' Deepak Jaikishan, a carpet trader who revealed that she had 'SOSed' him for help after a controversial statutory declaration was made public implicating her and Najib in the murder of a Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
From close friend, Deepak has suddenly turned rogue 'whistle-blower' after a purported falling-out with her. Those who know their circle find this "high suspicious". Nonetheless, Deepak is now stoically snapping every opportunity to tell unpleasant tales about Rosmah, whom he accuses of influencing mutual friends to freeze his business loans and other monetary accounts.
Too full of herself
But regardless of whether Deepak is acting for Rosmah or her enemies, she should first and foremost complement Najib. She must boost his image and not drag it further down the drain. To the pious, she does not display a presentable image whilst to the liberal, she serves little purpose but to create mischief unbecoming of a wife of a prime minister. Many critics have compared her with the wives of the previous prime ministers and sad to say, their conclusion is that she lacks 'the standard'.
Yet, she is one of the better educated ones, with a Masters degree in Sociology and Agriculture from the United State. She has also worked as a banker and a business development manager until she married Najib in 1987. So what is wrong with Rosmah, why do Malaysians intuitively dislike her?
In the eyes of the rakyat (the populace), Rosmah's first sin was to herself on a pedestal. Yes, she became too full of herself. Perhaps, blinded by the power she wielded through her husband, Rosmah became arrogant. She lost her connection with the people and they will never forgive her for that snub. This is the core reason why when something goes wrong, the whole country is only too happy to point the finger at her. Hers is the classic case of being the woman everyone loves to hate.
Her flamboyance makes her an easy target
Mind you, she fully deserves the public's jaundiced eye and distrust of her. There is no denying she rubs people the wrong way and hence, they tend to believe she is as bad as they think and say she is. Even her relatives and village people have gone on You Tube to scold her and compare her to a witch.
Her self-promoting ways such rushing to fly off to London to cheer on national badminton hero Lee Chong Wei in the recent Olympic finals is a case in point. So irritated were Malaysians at what they perceive to be a sly and insincere way of trying to ingratiate herself back into their good books by portraying herself as a good sport, they minced no words in labeling her an "evil jinx". Yes, Chong Wei lost.
Her legendary shopping sprees including a purported US$24 million diamond ring make Imelda Marcos look like a 'pasar-malam' (night market) amateur. Rosmah's famed collection of Birkin handbags, controversial string of honorary doctorate awards, luxury New York apartments plus an equally notorious in-law in the form of Maira Nazarbayev, a jet-setting Kazakh lady accused of being an international swindler, only serves to underscore how much blemish Rosmah has brought to the FLOM position.
It must be noted that by extension, Najib too would be deemed 'not PM material' and this is happening. A growing number in his own UMNO party want him out and the grapevine is heavy with talk of the most diabolical plots and schemes that center around pinning the donkey's tail on Rosmah's posterior. A 'cannot-miss' as some of her more cynical enemies have insisted.
However, the story of Rosmah Mansor could still end up with a twist - a happy ending of sorts for her. Please read on...
Grabbing the president's post without making UMNO look bad
Those in the upper echelons of UMNO who want to replace Najib with someone else will surely seize on all his mistakes, missteps, faults, baggage and what-not. But if they start tarnishing him now - the sitting PM and UMNO president - the people will definitely vote UMNO-BN out of power at the coming general election, which must be held by mid 2013 at the latest.
So they must look for another way that is less direct. They must use finesse. And this is where their troubles may begin, for UMNO's heavy-handed war lords have seldom been known for their patience, agility or depth of thought.
Meanwhile, Najib has tried to safeguard himself by trying to ensure that UMNO-BN depends on him. Since coming to office in 2009, he has spent hundreds of millions in image-making. Even now, his strategists keep trying to sell the line that while UMNO-BN has become an 'un-winnable' brand, Najib is still the most popular leader with no successor in sight.
Sad to say, Malaysians are no longer buying that line.
But no one feels sorry for her, Najib or UMNO
The manner in which Deepak has viciously attacked his former friend and benefactor without giving any 'face' to her husband, the PM of Malaysia, is scary. Something is going on. The UMNO grapevine has been sizzling with all sorts of talk including the probability that Najib may step down before the 13th general election so as to allow UMNO-BN to charge into the polls 'scandal-free'.
But the problems that plague UMNO-BN go much deeper than Najib and Rosmah. The response to Rosmah's recently-launched 'tell-all' book to refute the scandalous allegations raised against her is proof of that. While the book was snapped-up quickly, it did not make any 'A-bomb' splash as expected. There was no sense at all among the Malaysian public that perhaps they had wronged Rosmah - the symbol of the worst of UMNO's excesses. The lack of this feeling of need to give her, Najib and UMNO another chance to rule the country is telling indeed and portends a bad outcome for BN at the ballot boxes.
By now, it is crystal clear to the fractious 'war lords' in UMNO that they must plow through with their backup plans. With the UMNO 'pirate ship' sinking slowly but surely, Rosmah will have to be thrown overboard to reduce its weight. UMNO, and even Najib, can then point their finger at Rosmah. She and her purported US$24million diamond 'ring of fire' will become UMNO's next mega-scapegoat, after Badawi.
Rosmah, the GOOD GUY!
But not only is Rosmah 'no spring chicken' or bimbo, her temperament will ensure she will not accept blame without a vicious fight. And this is dangerous for UMNO and also Najib.
Rosmah knows her husband's secrets better than anyone and if he were to cave in to the demands of UMNO's sinister top leadership, which includes former leader Mahathir Mohamad, she would never forgive him. Rather than be the fall guy in order to cut Najib loose allowing him to scale further political heights without her at his side, Rosmah may decide to destroy him!
Yes, Rosmah has too many secrets that ruthless UMNO power brokers like Mahathir can capitalize on. But she too is no slouch. Make no mistake, Rosmah keeps her own little black book and for every 'dirty little secret' her enemies in UMNO have against her, she might know two or even about them!
By fighting back and going for broke - by being ready to expose even her own husband - Rosmah may well end up to be the one who will destroy UMNO for the rakyat. When this happens, Rosmah would have performed a great feat for the people and the country, which will be her atonement for all her wrong doings so far.
To the power-crazed UMNO war lords, Rosmah will be their curse. To her husband - sad to say, clueless from beginning to end - it could be a blessing in disguise and a new beginning. Without her prodding him on, Najib might be content to play golf and live the life on the fast lane with the billions they are alleged to have accumulated together.
For the people of Malaysia, she might finally be recognized as their savior - a respect and admiration she has long craved and hungered for. At last, no longer Rosmah the evil jinx or the spendthrift or the 'bik Mama'. Just Rosmah Mansor, the GOOD GUY! At last!