The truth behind Rosmah's ambulance by Mariam Mokhtar
Friday, February 07, 2020
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | On Wednesday, the
disgraced and former self-styled First Lady of Malaysia (Flom), Rosmah
Mansor, swooped into the High Court complex five minutes before her
trial was to begin. She turned up in a mini-convoy with an ambulance,
its lights flashing, occupying a prominent third place in her motorcade.
The only other person I know who has an ambulance as part of his motorcade is US President Donald Trump. Potus'
(President of the United States) ambulance is reserved to treat
injuries he might incur in an attack, a car crash or biological event,
and is at the rear of the motorcade.
Rosmah's ambulance serves another purpose. Whether or not the services of the paramedics are needed, the image
of the flashing ambulance is crucial as it helps to convey a message to
her supporters and the wider public. It portrays her as a sick
woman who has been forced to attend court despite the severity of her
illness. In other words, poor Rosmah is the victim of an unjust court. If Rosmah's fondness for singing karaoke is legendary, then play-acting is a close second.
ignored the suggestions of High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan to use
a wheelchair to ease her discomfort, Rosmah slowly climbed the stairs,
unaided, occasionally clinging on to the railings and at times being
supported by an aide. Her face was contorted with pain, real or
imagined, we will never know.
This shuffling image contrasts
sharply with previous years' video footage showing her agility on her
overseas travels, leading Malaysian delegations, giving talks,
officiating at Islamic fashion shows and naturally her favourite
pastime, shopping. Whether Rosmah had used a wheelchair, had to
seek emergency treatment in her personal ambulance or had to cling to
her aides for support is irrelevant.
The ambulance on standby is
part of her propaganda machinery. We are meant to see her catching her
breath and struggling up the stairs. The images are calculated to shift
public opinion, which in Rosmah's case is to gain our sympathy and turn
them against the authorities, or the court, or both. It is to reinforce
the belief that she is being persecuted. Malaysians mudah lupa
(easily forget). They may have not remembered the debacle on Monday
when judge Mohamed Zaini was clearly irritated that Rosmah had messed-up
the court's schedule.
He may have been conscious that the rakyat
would turn on the judiciary for being soft on her as both Rosmah and her
husband, the disgraced former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, have
previously abused their medical certificates (MCs) to delay their
laundry list of ailments presented on Monday claimed that Rosmah
suffered from dodgy knees and dizzy spells. So why didn't she ditch her
platform sandals and use flat shoes? If she had truly been ill, she
would have ridden in the ambulance. Yesterday, I was warned on
social media by pro-Rosmah supporters to back-off and give her a break.
Why should I or anyone else? She did not give the rakyat a break.
Rosmah is taking the court for a ride, and this not to be dismissed as a minor issue. When her husband was the PM, it was alleged that she wielded more power than him. Today,
she still wields power and can manipulate the courts. The judges,
lawyers and court official probably have long protracted discussions,
wasting time and the rakyat's money, wondering if she will turn up at
court or not. Rosmah's absence does not damage her, but the reputation of the judiciary will be further tainted.
father who steals a tin of milk powder to feed his children is held on
remand and made to appear in court, to determine his guilt or otherwise.
Rosmah twists the judiciary round her pudgy finger. Despite the
hundreds of millions of ringgits involved in her corruption, Rosmah is
free as a bird to evade court. The nation needs desperately to
overhaul its judicial system and shed its previous image of a two-tiered
system of justice, where one law exists for the "haves" and another,
for the "have-nots".
Getting rid of the previous Umno-Baru regime
means that the MACC and police are now overworked, pursuing the corrupt.
This would not have happened if Najib had won GE-14. Don't forget that the nation has other issues, like education, the environment and extremism, to correct. So what does Rosmah want? Naturally, she wants our sympathy but more importantly, she wants to buy time. Rosmah
(and corrupt Umno-Baru politicians impending court cases) will try to
delay their trials and the judgments until GE-15. They will attempt to
redeploy their old Umno-Baru tactics and use their new bed-fellow, PAS,
to defeat Pakatan Harapan.
the Umno-Baru-PAS-BN coalition returns to power, they will erase all of
Najib's and Rosmah's corruption charges and release them from prison if
they have been jailed. Many of you are disappointed with Pakatan
(who isn't?) and have threatened to vote Umno-Baru/PAS/BN at GE-15. It's
not just Rosmah who needs more time.
Don't dismiss Rosmah's court
delays as a small matter. When she plays hide-and-seek with the courts,
the wrong messages are sent out to the electorate and more importantly,
to our young. They will think that MCs can be continually abused and
that crime does pay. Act in haste at GE-15, and a returning Najib
will be merciless. You will regret that you had not weighed your options
with more care. Unlike Rosmah, the nation does not have an ambulance trailing it to give it CPR.