Najib is meeting Malaysians at London's prestigious O2 Arena next Monday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who denied penning a multi-million-ringgit broadcasting agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and UK-based FBC Media Ltd (a public relations firm) to boost his image abroad, will be playing host to 1,000 people at the “The O2 Arena” in Peninsular Square, London next Monday.
The O2 Arena, incidentally, is where multiple award winning singer Michael Jackson was to have had his final series of concerts in London. Hence, needless to state the size and prestige the venue holds.
According to a posting on the Malaysian High Commission website in London, “all Malaysians and their families” living in the UK are invited to enjoy an “Evening With the Prime Minister” on May 14 complete with free flow of food, drinks and cultural events.
Najib is expected to ‘say a few word’ and spend the rest of his time mingling with the crowd.
The High Commission is aiming to gather at least 1,000 Malaysians for this ‘informal’ event.
Much of the invitations appear to have been sent via e-mails and SMSes, possibly because the High Commission is fearful of a backlash, considering the Bersih 3.0 protest outside its office two weeks ago.
A Malaysian accountant working in London, when contacted, said she’d received a forwarded text from a friend inviting her for the event on Monday evening.
Speaking to FMT early this morning she said: “A friend messaged me on Sunday with the invitation. I thought it odd at first, then was told they (High Commission) didn’t want trouble.”
Najib is reportedly scheduled to leave for London after launching a massive Umno celebration here on May 11.
He is to attend an ‘event’ and his son’s graduation in London this month before taking a family holiday in Spain.
The ‘event’ was in fact this “Evening With the PM” along with another pre-arranged session with the “Friends of BN” (FBN) group, also based in the UK.
According to FBN website, the aim of the group is “to enhance private sector bilateral trade relations between Malaysia and Britain as well as to promote and develop investment opportunities between the two countries.”
Najib is the patron of the FBN advisory board.
Also on the board are Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, senior Umno leader Mustapha Mohamad and several British public figures – Lord Sheikh of Cornhill, Professor Lord Meghnad Desai, Lord Parry Mitchell, Sir Iqbal Sacranie and two women Dr Dawn Gibbin and Farzana Badeul.
Meanwhile Sarawak Report has pointed out the irony of the BN-government’s attempt to ‘buy supporters’ for the Najib’s “Evening With the PM” event on Monday when barely two weeks ago some 1,000 Malaysians had turned up on their own accord to support the Bersih 3.0 global rally in London calling for a clean and fair elections in Malaysia.
The Bersih 3.0 rally which was held simultaneously across 85 cities across the world, also saw the Najib-led government issuing letters warning students that they risked losing their JPA scholarships if they participated in the rally.
But miffed students in these cities mocked the BN warning when they turned up wearing masks and scarfs bearing placards calling for electoral reforms and a corruption-free government back home.
“It is highly likely that a similar peaceful protest will develop outside the O2 Arena, although the Malaysian Embassy have a record of attempting to hire security guards to prevent legitimate demonstrations, even in London, ” noted the posting.