Rosmah expressed her unhappiness to Najib at how they were painted as “villains” over the 1MDB scandal and her frustration with then MACC chief Abu Kassim.
An irate Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was heard telling her husband Datuk Seri Najib Razak to “take charge” because he was prime minister in an audio clip released by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today.
MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the six-minute clip of Rosmah and Najib speaking was recorded on July 27, 2016, at 12.46pm.
Excerpts of transcript translated from Bahasa Melayu in some parts and edited for clarity:
Rosmah: Hi. (raises voice) Can I advise you something?
Najib: Yeah, anything?
Rosmah: You still don’t listen to me. They tell you to slow down on Abu Kassim, but Abu Kassim is making statements. He is taking pictures with Pak Lah. He is looking like a hero and you, the villain. And all these five people, can’t they see that their first priority is you, not anybody else?
Najib: Which five people?
Rosmah: In your office, lah. Shahlan (Ismail) is convinced, Tengku (Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad) is convinced, Amhari (Efendi Nazaruddin) is convinced.
We are painted as the villains.
Najib: No, no, no I allowed Azwan to make a statement because there was a good impact already.
Rosmah: That Azwan, OK, fine. Now, today Abu Kassim is in Berita Harian, why is it they allow Abu Kassim to take pictures with Pak Lah? He has the cheek to thank Pak Lah and everybody else except you, and that’s not fair.
Najib: Hmm, OK, understand, understand. I’ve already signed the letter for Dzul’s appointment (refers to the abrupt appointment of Dzulkifli as the MACC chief back then).
Rosmah: I don’t like this. Darling, you are the prime minister, you should take charge, not anybody else, OK?
Najib: Yup, I understand.
Rosmah: You’ve got goons around you to advise you.
Najib: Ummm, ummm.
The exchange between Rosmah and Najib appears to relate to the appointment of former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, who was appointed to head the anti-graft agency just three days after the telephone conversation.
Dzulkifli replaced Abu Kassim Mohamed, who in 2015 began investigating the RM2.6 billion “donation” deposited into Najib’s bank account.
The following year, MACC was ready to act against Najib when then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail was abruptly removed from office, and Kassim stepped down.
Kassim was brought out of retirement after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the government in 2018 to be director-general of the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre.
Latheefa noted that some of the phone calls had preceded various events such as the appointment of Dzulkifly as the MACC chief commissioner on Aug 1, 2016.
Dzulkifly resigned in May 2018.
In the conversation between Rosmah and Najib, the names of high-profile individuals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are mentioned, including the Crown Prince of UAE and Mubadala Development Company Chief Executive Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.
Mubadala subsidiary International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), had guaranteed bonds issued by 1MDB, and Najib wanted to prevent 1MDB’s non-payment of the bonds from becoming an issue.
Rosmah also instructs her husband to call a meeting with Khaldoon to settle the bond dispute and on shielding her son, movie producer Riza Aziz, from accusations of impropriety.