Malaysia PM's Wife's Business Dealings Alleged
|Jan 7, 2013|
Malaysia's disaffected businessman Deepak Jaikishan, in his latest salvo against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, has charged that he conducted a spectacular RM3 billion (US$985 million) worth of quiet business dealings for her, although he didn't say over what period.
Deepak, who has issued a long barrage of charges against the couple, made the latest allegations in an "e-book" 24 pages long, about half of it taken up by US$4 million worth of jewelry receipts from two Hong Kong outlets that he appeared to have purchased for Rosmah as a go-between. The prime minister's wife has long been an object of public criticism, most of it centering on her alleged profligacy and her reported dominance of her husband's political and social agenda. The attacks have compared her to both Shakespeare's Lady MacBeth, who drove her husband to murder and tragedy, and to former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos, who gained fame for her extravagance including owning hundreds of pairs of shoes.
A Kuala Lumpur-based opposition blog alleged in 2011 that Rosmah had received a US$24.8 million diamond ring from the New York-based Jacob & Co. jewelers and that the ring had passed through customs without duty being charged. Rosmah has said publicly that: "There is nothing I want to say (in relation to the purchase of ring) because I have no time to entertain such issue." She later denied buying the ring.
She has also been photographed carrying what appears to be a Birkin handbag, designed and manufactured by Hermes of Paris and named for the actress and singer Jane Birkin. Prices of the bags range from US$9,000 to US$150,000 according to the type of material used. She has been photographed as well wearing what appears to be a 65.77 carat white and black Zebra safari bangle bracelet, also from Jacob & Co. and made of white and black pave diamonds and 18-karat white gold.
Deepak immediately disavowed the book, which spells names backwards and called Rosmah "the black Rose," apparently on the advice of his lawyers because of the threat of a lawsuit. However, the jewelry receipts could only have come from him. He said the book he had written bore no resemblance to the one that was issued on Saturday.
The carpet dealer once said he was close enough to Rosmah to call her his "big sister." He has told a long string of opposition and independent websites he interceded at her request to shut up Perumal Balasubramaniam, a Kuala Lumpur-based private detective who alleged in a sworn declaration in 2008 that Najib had had a sexual relationship with Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian national at the center of a massive corruption scandal who was murdered in 2006 by two of Najib's bodyguards. The two are currently appealing death sentences in a process that mysteriously has been delayed for months.
In his e-book, titled "The Black Rose," Deepak alleged that shortly after he had succeeded, with Najib's brother Nazim, in forcing Balasubramaniam to retract his original statement and bundling the private detective out of the country with a promise of a RM45 million bribe, Rosmah turned on him. Balasubramaniam later gave a press conference in Chennai detailing the intimidation and bribe that caused him to flee the country. After that, Deepak wrote:
"I was suddenly visited by about 40-50 officers from a government statutory body; they came with six lorries and took away almost all of my files in my office, factory, house and Johor office. I was shocked that (Najib) was the sitting Number One, and I was his friend, not only a friend but a person who had taken significant risk to help him achieve the position."
Deepak doesn't detail the array of business dealings that he carried out for Rosmah. However, he wrote, the raid was designed to "get rid of all original documents related to my business and payments to them including telegraphic transfers and payments to money changers in foreign currencies."
Second, he said, the raid was "to threaten me not to reveal information" about a second statutory declaration issued by Balasubramaniam retracting the first one.
"To date, not a single document has ever been returned to me and it has already been more than three years," he wrote.
Ever wonder why governments lie? We don't. We just catch them at it. Subscribe to Asia Sentinel