Thursday, 4 October 2018

Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal ensnares Najib’s wife

Ex-First Lady Rosmah Mansor, an unabashed symbol of the ex-government's free-spending extravagance, now faces 17 charges of money laundering

At the height of their power, Malaysia’s then Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, appeared confident they had ridden out the storm of their alleged roles in a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal.

Domestic probes into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) development fund Najib created and oversaw as chairman of its advisory board had cleared him of any misconduct, critics had been sacked, rivals imprisoned and the largesse continued to flow.

The gilded pair now face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives behind bars on corruption-related charges. Malaysia’s former first couple have had their world turned upside down since the resounding electoral defeat of Najib’s ruling coalition in May.

Appearing on Thursday morning at a court in Kuala Lumpur, Rosmah, 66, pled not guilty to 17 charges, including money laundering, laid against her by prosecutors. She was arrested on October 3 by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), an anti-graft body investigating how billions of dollars went missing from 1MDB. Rosmah faces a potential 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at