KUALA LUMPUR — An Indonesian magazine has published an article highlighting the “luxurious lifestyle” led by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Madam Rosmah Mansor, just two days ahead of his working visit to the republic.
The article in Tempo, titled Hidup Mewah Sang Perdana Menteri (the luxurious life of the prime minister), discussed at length the couple’s reported purchases, including Mdm Rosmah’s range of expensive Birkin handbags and jewellery, Malaysiakini reported.
Tempo also featured the Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force’s (MyWatch) recent photographs of what it claimed to be the couple’s luxury watches.
MyWatch had alleged that the price of each of Mdm Rosmah’s watches ranged from RM79,200 (S$29,419) for the Hublot BlackBerry Black Magic 114, to RM486,000 for the Richard Mille Lady RM 007 Diamond Cruncher.
Tempo drew comparisons between the watches and Mr Najib’s salary of about RM350,000 per year.
“Mr Najib and his family’s lifestyle has courted the anger of Malaysians,” said the article.
It brought up Mdm Rosmah’s remarks on her RM1,200 hairstyle, which had led critics to accuse her of being out of touch with ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet.
Tempo also narrowed in on Mr Najib’s stepson, Mr Riza Aziz, who bought an apartment in New York worth RM110 million in 2012 and a house in Beverly Hills, California, worth US$17.5 million (S$24 million) in cash, as reported by the New York Times.
Mdm Rosmah and Mr Najib’s luxurious ways have been highlighted in both local and international news in recent months, and was featured in a February article in the New York Times on the wealth of businessman Low Taek Jho.
The paper, furnishing invoices and other documents as proof of jewellery purchases for Mdm Rosmah, had asked the Prime Minister’s Office for a response and received a response which said: “Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”
This led to speculation about Mr Najib and his family’s wealth, and triggered a letter signed by Mr Najib’s four brothers – Mr Johari, Mr Nizam, Mr Nazim, and Mr Nazir – taking issue with those who speculated about the inheritance left by their father, Malaysia’s second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein.
The four Razak brothers said their father was known for his integrity and frugality, and denounced “anyone who taints his memory”.
“We are extremely concerned that some recent news articles and postings have given rise to speculation as to the nature and extent of the inheritance that our late father, Abdul Razak, had left behind.”
“We wish to put on record that Abdul Razak was a highly principled man, well-known to all who knew him for his frugality and utmost integrity and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation,” said the statement issued on February 24.
The Razak brothers added that the “whole family” was united on this issue.
Yesterday (April 20), former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad also mentioned Mr Najib and Mdm Rosmah’s “lavish lifestyle” in another blog post attacking the latter’s premiership.
“There are many things about his personal behaviour that I thought were not right. But I was prepared to overlook them, including he and his wife’s lavish lifestyle,” Dr Mahathir wrote. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER