Rosmah Mansor, the spouse of the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has been a subject of widespread scrutiny due to her involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. On September 1, 2022, Rosmah was found guilty on corruption charges related to a school electrical project, and was consequently penalised with a hefty fine of $303 million and a ten-year prison sentence.
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Rosmah, who completed her secondary education at Kolej Tunku Kurshiah in Negeri Sembilan, has been married to Najib Razak since 1987. They have two children, Nooryana Najwa and Mohd Norashman. Prior to her marriage to Najib, Rosmah was married to Abdul Aziz Nong Chik, with whom she has two children, Azrene Soraya and Riza Aziz. Rosmah and her family have accumulated a considerable fortune, which she claims to have been saving since childhood.
The legal case and scandal surrounding Rosmah Mansor has captured the public’s interest. She was found guilty by a Kuala Lumpur court of soliciting and accepting bribes in relation to a solar power project worth millions of dollars. This verdict came just a week after her husband began his 12-year prison term for a case related to the embezzlement of 1MDB public funds.
Rosmah faced three charges of bribery related to a $279 million project that intended to provide rural Sarawak schools with solar power. The prosecution claimed that she demanded 187.5 million Malaysian ringgit ($41.8 million) from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company, in return for assisting them to secure the government contract. It was also alleged that she received 1.5 million Malaysian ringgit ($334,578) and 5 million Malaysian ringgit ($1.12m) in consideration for this contract. The Kuala Lumpur High Court found her guilty on all three counts.
Days after her husband’s incarceration for corruption, Rosmah was sentenced to a decade in prison by a Malaysian court. She was convicted for soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for government contracts. This court decision came after several corruption investigations were launched against the couple following Najib’s unexpected election defeat in 2018.
Renowned for her extravagant lifestyle and fondness for Hermes Birkin bags, Rosmah has been frequently questioned about her influence in governmental affairs. Despite the conviction, she remains free on bail pending court appeals. Following the verdict, an emotional Rosmah addressed the judge, donned in a traditional Malaysian attire, a yellow baju kurung and a matching headscarf.
Rosmah, who denied all charges, was accused of soliciting and accepting bribes between 2016 and 2017 to help a company secure a $279 million solar power supply deal from her husband’s government. Prosecutors had pushed for a “maximum or near maximum” sentence, while her lawyers pleaded for a one-day jail term.