Rizal Mansor, the aide to the prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor, has debunked a photograph of Rosmah apparently ‘leading’ her husband Najib Abdul Razak during the Singapore National Day celebration last Sunday.
The photograph, which has gone viral, was used to claim it to be an example of Rosmah “bossing” her husband as she is seen walking ahead of Najib.
They were seen walking past Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Iskandar and Johor Crown Prince Ismail Ibrahim, both of whom have been subtly critical of Najib, without any acknowledgement.
Rizal said there were more important issues to be concerned about, but nonetheless he still addressed the photograph after noting that many people had played up the matter.
He pointed out that Rosmah had to walk ahead as she was supposed to sit on the inside.
“Rosmah walking in front of Najib, have a look at the arrangement sitting. It was like going to the movies, who is seated on the inside must go in first.
“The seating and the position she enters is determined by Singapore’s protocol. We are guest, we have to follow,” he says in his Facebook posting.
Rizal also addressed another photograph taken from an angle that apparently showed Rosmah as the only head of government’s wife present at the celebration.
Other leaders too had their wives present…
The aide posted a separate photograph, pointing out that there were also other heads of states or governments who were accompanied by their wives.
“Rosmah was the only head of government’s wife?
“Have a look at today’s (yesterday’s) Utusan Malaysia photograph. The wife of Indonesia’s vice-president was present, Vietnam and New Zealand too.
“Out of eight head of states or representatives present, four of them brought their spouses.
“Singapore prime minister’s wife was also there,” Rizal said.
Social media has often made fun of Rosmah’s alleged influence over Najib, despite the prime minister denying that his wife plays any role in his administration.
Najib is also suing Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming on his claim that Rosmah was present in a cabinet meeting, based on a photograph that Najib said was merely a regular meeting between him and a few ministers, at which his wife was present.