It was to be a grand dinner, a soiree of sorts in New York tonight.
An award called “Lead By Example” purportedly from the Unesco, to be presented to Rosmah Mansor, with the oddly-titled First Lady of Malaysia, for her work in the Permata programme. She was to receive it at the “A Tribute to Heroes in the Global Campaign Against Violent Extremism” event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York.
But that quickly unravelled.
And Ramesh Rao, man about town and presumptive chief of the other oddly-named group Mind and Social Wellness Association, has blamed it on a Jewish plot to shame the prime minister’s wife. Think about it. A grand dinner in New York in the shadow of the United Nations General Assembly where world leaders are assembled to pontificate and she gets an award.
What are the chances of that happening? Well, it happened in 2010.
But there is a curious link to the current brouhaha that might shed some light to the mysterious award by the Antiquities Coalition, which is working with Unesco for the awards event tonight in New York.
That story does lead back to the Jews, coincidentally. And not just any Jew but the ones that helped 1MDB raise bonds that was later found to have allegedly made its way to the private accounts of Najib Razak, Prime Minister and of course now known by that American government moniker Malaysian Official 1.
Yes, Goldman Sachs.
How is Goldman Sachs involved?
Here’s the thing. The Antiquities Coalition is chaired by Deborah Lehr, a former trade negotiator in the Clinton Administration.
Nothing funny or strange about that. But she also happens to be the wife of John F.W. Rogers, said to be the most powerful man in Goldman Sachs.
What is the wife of a powerful man, a woman keen on antiquities, doing nominating people for awards? And how small is New York, is it like Kuala Lumpur where everybody knows everybody and awards and titles are a dime a dozen.
Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s everything.
After all, Ramesh Rao thinks its a plot to shame Rosmah because the Jews are apparently as petty as some Malaysians.
Or, in the best tradition of friendship and client service, the power couple are just helping another power couple to come over to New York and enjoy a dinner and some culture.
Shopping too, ahead of the cold winter that the Malaysian Official 1 and his wife seems to be facing these days.
But remember these random yet linked words — Lead By Example. Permata. Rosmah Mansor. Malaysian Official 1. Goldman Sachs. 1MDB. New York.
Oh, and shopping.
And a reminder from the words of the poet Robert Burns in To the Mouse.
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!