Monday, August 6, 2018

The Scandalous Couple

International diamond jeweller Samer Halimeh together with former prime minister Najib Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor in an undated photograph. Picture courtesy of Samer Halimeh New York 

This time Samer Halimeh together with former prime minister Najib Razak in an undated photograph. Image credit: Malay Mail Online, August 05, 2018

It is photos like these that are likely to cause anger at both Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor. 

Indeed, their lavish lifestyles are ignominiously indecent.

The couple simply loves attending society gatherings and for her especially, she enjoys parading her ostentatious jewellery and/or handbags. 

And you have to wonder, where did the money to pay for all the bling come from?

The hubby used to be the prime minister of Malaysia and she a homemaker! 

Obviously, the pair couldn’t be flaunting their affluence because the sole breadwinner wasn’t earning big bucks, relatively speaking. 

I’m referring to his legitimate income, i.e. the salary of a prime minister. 

(Just to put things in perspective, Mahathir Mohamad's monthly salary as PM is only RM20,544.30 and this is after that mandatory 10 percent salary cut he instituted). 

And neither were they born with silver spoons in their mouths. Well, they were not fabulously wealthy to begin with when they first became public figures  even if they come from privileged backgrounds. 

(Of course, we now know of Najib's ill-gotten wealth that he procured from 1MDB and elsewhere). 

My point is that the 12,000 pieces of jewellery confiscated by police in June of this year insults every Malaysian who is slogging hard to earn a decent living in a country where the cost of living is rising every year. 

We know that part of Rosmah’s massive jewellery collection comes from Samer Halimeh. 

He is no ordinary jeweller. UK’s Evening Standard has described him as the “red carpet jeweller” whose diamonds are worn by A-listers such as Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey and Elton John as well as the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Brunei. 

And of course, unemployed Rosmah is on the list too.

So, the news yesterday from Samer Halimeh New York that Rosmah wanted to wear some of their million-ringgit diamond jewellery at Najib’s victory events if Barisan Nasional had won GE14 is making me very sick!! 

In case you weren’t aware, Samer Halimeh, whose Beirut-based Global Royalty are suing the former prime minister’s wife over a consignment of “missing” jewellery, i.e. 44 pieces worth $14,787,770 (RM59.8 million). 

The items ordered by Rosmah ranged in price from £95,000 (RM504,233) up to £710,000 (RM3.8 million) and included a diamond ring worth £710,000, two diamond necklaces and matching earrings worth £515,000 (RM2.7 million), and another diamond necklace and earrings worth £450,000 (RM2.4 million). 

According to court filings dated June 26, the diamond jewellery was hand-delivered on February 10, 2018. 

Samer Halimeh New York had explained: “The First Lady wanted to review the pieces on a ‘try-before-you-buy’ basis. This is standard procedure at the very top end of diamond jewellery retailing”. Meaning, she is a “long-standing customer”!! 

The company  themselves admitted they have had a 10-year long relationship with Rosmah (and Najib) – and it started in London. Not only did she made regular purchases but according to the jewellers, “we also supplied our VIP jewellery to various events the First Lady and Prime Minister attended in London and other cities”. 

Wow, money must have been flowing out of Najib’s ears since at least ten years ago! 

And the founder of his eponymous brand made some appropriate noises to express his regret: “We are very upset and saddened to have to bring a legal suit and court action against Rosmah Mansor the former First Lady in this manner”. 

Haha!! Sure lah, Samer Halimeh is upset and sad. Upset because he has not received payment and summore, his goods were confiscated and sad because he just lost a good customer for good.

Anyway, Malaysians are happy to know that the Attorney General’s Chambers will be intervening the suit on the grounds that the jewellery belonged to the Government and that the items were bought using stolen money. 

Way to go, Tommy Thomas, good to know you're doing your job! 

Then, we discovered that there was no import declaration made to the Royal Malaysian Customs Department regarding the delivery of the forty-four pieces of jewellery. 

Of course, it is an offence – and actions to be taken shall include seizure of the said goods. 

Global Royalty Trading SAL’s lawyer David Gurupatham said: “As far as our client is concerned, whoever wants to seize the goods is fine, but someone has to pay for them”. 

And then he added: “We would have to claim the amount from Rosmah”. 

LOL, it serves her right!

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