The fall of Malaysia’s former leader
Islam News – With four decades in public office and a kindly, fatherly image, Najib Razak, the former prime minister of Malaysia, was once seen as untouchable.
But last month, he began serving a 12-year sentence for siphoning millions of dollars in government funds — a notable conviction in Malaysia, where officials have long engaged in unbridled theft. His free-spending wife, Rosmah Mansor, also received a 10-year sentence this month for soliciting and receiving bribes. She was ordered to pay an extraordinary $216 million fine.
The case may not be over. Najib has powerful allies, including the current prime minister, and his party remains popular. Recently, Najib filed a petition seeking a pardon, which allows him to keep his seat in Parliament while his request is under consideration.
In 2016, a U.S. Justice Department investigation found that $731 million was transferred to Najib’s bank accounts from the government investment fund he oversaw, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB. In total, at least $4.5 billion went missing, much of which has yet to be recovered.
Rosmah is widely perceived as a Lady Macbeth who pushed her husband to steal government funds to finance her international shopping sprees. In 2018, officers found $273 million in cash and luxury goods in the couple’s properties, including 14 tiaras.