With RM1.1 billion worth of cash seized from the ex-Prime Minister’s linked houses in Kuala Lumpur, Najib Razak’s Malaysia emerges as one of the biggest kleptocracies in the world.
The shopping spree and the absolute power enjoyed by Najib and his wife, former first lady of Malaysia (FLOM) Rosmah Mansor, establish a new Asean record.
They have probably beaten all the kleptocrats in history, including the Marcos’s and the little-known story of Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife.
However, they are out-witted by the long rule of Suharto regime with the latter spending 30 years in power sucking the country’s resources dry.
Najib had set himself on a 15 to 20-year rule, that was fortunately cut short by the thumping return of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
But on a personal level, perhaps Rosmah has indefinitely established herself as the number one first lady shopaholic in the region.
While Imelda was said to have had a colossal shoe collection, Rosmah is said to have the habit of buying luxurious handbags.
The items the Malaysian police seized from Najib-linked homes are listed below:
― a yellow-and-gold necklace valued at RM6.4 million, which was the single-most expensive item.
― Earrings — 2,800 set pieces
― Rings — 2,200 pieces
― Bangles — 2,100 pieces
― Brooches — 1,600 pieces
― Necklaces — 1,400 pieces
― Tiaras — 14 pieces
― 567 handbags from 37 high-end brands, including Hermes, Prada, Chanel and the notoriously exclusive Bijan.
― The value of the Hermes bags alone was RM51.3 million, while some of the custom-made Bijan bags were valued at RM1.6 million.
― The Wall Street Journal reported that US$130,625 was spent at a Chanel store in Honolulu in 2014.
― The WSJ also revealed that more than US$14 million was transferred to Malaysian clothing store Jakel.
― €750,000 (S$1.2 million today) spent at a Swiss jewellery store in August 2014.
― In 2011, the couple spent US$56,000 at a car dealership in Kuala Lumpur.