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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ambiga is FMT’s newsmaker of the year

Surprisingly 'people-savvy' Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak came in seventh after his wife Rosmah Mansor.
KUALA LUMPUR:  Bersih 2.0 hero S Ambiga was named FMT’s top newsmaker of the year after some 57% of its readers voted for her, drubbing more prominent figures like Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
This comes as no surprise, given the amount of headlines Ambiga, a former president of the Malaysian Bar Council, had accumulated throughout the year.
The year 2011 showered on Ambiga both positive and negative coverage, much of it due to her involvement in several rocking controversial events.
What does come as a surprise is that Shahrizat Abdul Jalil was next in line despite barely making the headlines, at least up until the RM250-million National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal broke out last month.
The Women’s Affair, Family and Community Development Minister is now facing growing calls to quit her post from her own Umno party members who view her as a liability.
The “attention” given to Shahrizat, who is Wanita Umno chief, by FMT readers perhaps reflects the weight of the scandal and the potential damage it may do to the ruling coalition in the upcoming national polls.
Shahrizat received 534 votes or a 9% rating next to Ambiga, similar to the percentage received by Anwar who came in third in the chart after gaining five votes lesser.
Meanwhile, Najib was two points behind his wife Rosmah Mansor. Rosmah came in fourth with 416 votes or a 7% rating.
Rosmah, who is known for her love of luxury goods, made several headlines for allegedly owning “blings” or diamond ring and a bangle worth more than RM70 million. She has, however, denied these allegations.
Taib on sixth spot
Rosmah also came under fire when she was accused of using taxpayers’ money to ship items she bought on a shopping spree at the upmarket area of London. This, too, she has denied.
Below her at fifth spot is Auditor-General Ambrin Buang with 281 votes or a 5% rating.
Just as in the past years, Ambrin shocked and infuriated Malaysians with disclosures of the government’s financial “mess”.
Next at sixth spot is the notorious Taib Mahmud, Sarawak’s and the world’s longest-serving Chief Minister, whose alleged corruption has made global news and compelled an international investigation in his business and assets abroad. Locally, too, there has been increased calls for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate him.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes was next in line, after Najib, at seventh, with 129 votes or a 2% rating.
He surprisingly gained more votes than firebrand Ibrahim Ali, the chief of the Malay right-wing group Perkasa.
Ibrahim has been in the news throughout 2011, making more headlines for his controversial statements that have upset the country’s minorities.
Fernandes also scored better than “Datuk T”, a trio comprising former Malacca chief minister Rahim Tamby Chik, businessman Eskay Shahril and former Perkasa treasurer Shuaib Lazim.
The three made headlines after they claimed to have a video of Anwar having sex with a Chinese woman believed to be a sex worker.
The PKR leader denied he was the said man and alleged that the video was an Umno conspiracy to destroy his image.

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