Malaysia’s next first lady Rosmah Mansor has said she was “shocked” by attacks from political opponents who have attempted to link her and her husband to a sensational murder.
But the wife of deputy premier Najib Razak, who is to be installed as prime minister later this month, dismissed suggestions the accusations could overshadow his premiership and said the experience had made them stronger.
“When I heard these unpleasant things it shocked me, I can’t imagine that somebody like that could exist on this earth and not feel guilty about making other people’s lives miserable,” she told AFP in a recent interview.
“But as far as I’m concerned, I’m not affected by all this because I know they will do anything to stop my husband from being (leader), and they chose the wrong way.”
Najib was last year forced to deny having an affair with 28-year-old Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was murdered in 2006. Her remains were blown up with military-grade explosives in a jungle clearing.
The deputy premier’s close adviser, who admitted having a relationship with the woman, was charged with abetting the murder but was later acquitted.
Two policemen from an elite unit that guards the prime minister and deputy prime minister are accused of carrying out the grisly slaying and are currently on trial.
Rosmah, who was herself linked to the crime by a prominent blogger who was slapped with sedition and defamation charges over the allegations, said the furore was part and parcel of political life.
“If they cannot get my husband, they get me, if they cannot get me they even go to the children… they will resort to anything at all,” she said.
“But it doesn’t matter, it makes us much wiser, it makes us much stronger, closer as a family, and more mature.”
“What’s important is your conscience, that when you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror, are you able to look at yourself and love yourself, and ask yourself whether you’ve done the right thing.”
The new first lady, who has a reputation for being formidable and outspoken and is a subject of fascination for many Malaysians, portrayed her relationship with her husband as close and affectionate.
In a country where the mainstream media is tightly controlled, and where news websites and blogs are a popular source of information, she is one of Malaysia’s most-discussed identities.
“Like it or not when you are the wife of a prominent leader, you will be watched, talked about, assessed and analysed all the time. But they fail to realise I am also a human being,” she said.
Political analysts have said that Najib, who the opposition has also accused of corruption over massive military purchases, could be burdened by the Altantuya saga and that there should be an official probe to clear the air.