A video has been circulating online showcasing a snippet of a skit by local Singaporean actors Ivan Heng and Siti Khalijah Zainal. The satirical duo was portraying Ho Ching, wide of PM Lee Hsien Loong, and Rosmah Mansor, wife of former Malaysian PM Najib Razak in the wake of Rosmah’s recent arrest.
Though the two political figures are no longer close friends in real life, the satirist put on a skit of what it might be like if Rosmah and Ho Ching were still buddies. Performed at a fundraising even for local charity, Wild Rice, the skit received uproarious laughter from the crowd.
Before the Malaysian 14th General Elections when Najib was still in power, comedians and satirists were cautious about poking fun at the PM and his wife. Malaysian cartoonist Zunar was famously prosecuted for his unsavoury cartoons about the pair while artist Fahmi Reza was taken to court for while wildly popular drawing of Najib’s face in clown makeup. Even Singaporean comedians have been forced to apologise for making fun of Najib. The ex-PM had no tolerance for any kind of political satire during his reign.
Now, however, with no fear of reprisals following Najib’s fall from grace and subsequent prosecution in Malaysian courts, comedians are coming out with new materials, Ivan Heng and Siti Khalijah included.
In the skit, they duo left no stone unturned – with jokes about Rosmah’s collection of Hermes Birkin bags that cost over SGD138,000 each and her love of botox.
The 6-minute video begins with Rosmah visiting Ho Ching in Singapore after being released on bail. When asked how she managed to leave the country, Rosmah replied ‘I pay lah!’
Why are you carrying so many handbags? Didn’t they confiscate everything?” Ho asked. To which Rosmah replied, “No, not these five … if you carry five Birkin bags at the same time no one would ever think they are real.”
She then adds, “You would agree with me that they [Birkin bags] are such a great investment because they appreciate in value, unlike your HDB.”
Rosmah wasn’t the only butt of the joke that evening. Heng who was playing Ho Ching was dressed in a blue blouse and pink silk pants that matches the outfit worn by Ho Ching when she and her husband visited Malaysian’s PM Mahathir soon after their election.
If you remember, she was criticised by local Singaporean netizens for wearing what looks like pyjamas to a high-level meeting.
In the skit, Rosmah asks Ho Ching why she was wearing that outfit again to which she replied, “It’s quite comfortable. I wear it in the office every day, go to work, and then at night I can attend social functions and dinners like this. After this I go home and wear it as my pyjamas … blue is my favourite colour and pink is my husband’s favourite colour.”
The crowd was in stitches.
Both Najib and Rosmah are currently facing jail time if they found guilty of money laundering in relation to the 1MDB state fund. Hundreds of luxury handbags and watches as well as millions in foreign currency were found at the couple’s house in May when the new PM re-launched the investigation of the 1MDB scandal.
During Najib’s time in power, Rosmah and Ho Ching appeared to be friendly with each other while Najib and Lee forged strong personal ties which led to many bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia during Najib’s time in power.