The prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, lamented today that many groups have approached her to be their patron in order to obtain financial aid, despite she having “no budget” to provide such funds.
Speaking at an event organised by the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) and the National Sports Institute (ISN), she appeared to take a swipe at both the foundation and the opposition in the opening lines of her speech.
“People always ask me to be their patron or president, not because they want me to work but because they ask me to get them money.
“I feel this Yakeb has also appointed me as their patron to ask me to find money for them. I have received many letters from Yakeb, asking for help and I said I have no budget (to help them).
“Khairy (Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, the youth and sports minister), I really do not have a budget.
“If I have a budget, the opposition will be busy, saying ‘macam mana Rosmah pula ada bajet‘? (how does Rosmah have a budget?),” she said at the ISN Dewan Perdana in Bukit Jalil today.
Rosmah added that after forwarding Yakeb’s request to her husband, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the foundation had “forgotten about her” despite receiving RM3 million in funds back in June.
“But on this point, I am upset, because after getting the money I didn’t get an invitation.
“After receiving (funds), please remember your patron. Don’t ask me to do work and find money but when you have received the money, you forget about me.
“But it’s okay, I’m just teasing you, Iskandar. Don’t take it seriously, but just take it very lightly okay,” she said to Yakeb acting president Mohd Azlan Iskandar, a former national squash player.
Keeping up with her husband
In line with the sports-themed event, Rosmah, who is 65, also shed light on her own experiences playing badminton, netball and hockey in school but said she now suffered from painful knees, thus making it hard for her to keep up with her husband when attending events together.
“Even if I don’t play badminton, I will go to the gym to work on my stamina because running after the PM is not easy.
“He is tall and when he walks, his one stride is three strides for me. So it’s like I have to run after him, not literally… but I need to walk fast so I can walk together with him.
“Two nights ago, I had to walk behind… because my legs are not very long and also my knees were very painful,” she said to chuckles in the audience.
Rosmah, together with Khairy and Mohd Azlan, later launched a sports science course aimed at helping former national athletes become certified sports coaches.
The course is part of a continuing education programme jointly organised by Yakeb and ISN.
More than 50 former athletes enrolled in the course witnessed the launch.