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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Why couldn’t Trump just call his golfing buddy Najib?



The biggest joke was when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was awakened by his wife, Rosmah Mansor in the middle of the night to make an important phone call to the US president-elect, Donald Trump.
It is hard to believe any story these days coming from either Najib or Rosmah. After all, we have heard too many far more incredulous stories in the past 10 years.
You cannot blame us, ordinary citizens, for simply being sceptical, especially since Najib’s explanation that he did not know some RM41 million been transferred into his account has been debunked by DAP parliamentarian Tony Pua; while Rosmah’s story of saving enough money from young to afford herself a diamond ring worth RM2 million has been talked about even by a pakcik taxi driver and a staunch Umno supporter himself whom I met in Tapah recently.
Who would believe the latest story about Trump wanting to speak to Najib urgently, since the generous Arab prince seemingly never existed in the first place. His identity has never been revealed, because according to an international economics magazine article which I have read, there is simply no Arab prince who is that rich to be able to donate that amount of money to an individual.
And, who would be able to save a million ringgit, even if the saving had started from one’s birth? One would have to save RM20,000 per annum from birth to the age of 50 just to have RM2 million, not taking into consideration the miserable bank interest.
Civil suit by US Department of Justice
Put it in another way - the civil suit filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has blown a hole in our confidence with the prime minister.
The whole world has already heard about the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, and the money trail involving US$1 billion that ended up being laundered in the United States.
Even golf buddy President Barack Obama did not stop the DOJ from bringing the case into broad daylight. I doubt Trump would stop the investigation from going on. Trump has his own reputation to protect. He has the American interest in mind when he becomes the next US president.
Blame it on no one else other than himself for the way some of us now think of Najib these days. We have been subjected to too many stories which we find it hard even to convince ourselves to be true. These stories are not only coming out from the opposition leaders, but even within Umno’s rank and file.
Otherwise, why is there a split in Umno now? Why, for example, in Sabah, the response to former minister Shafie Apdal’s Warisan recently appears to be so overwhelming?
By now, Najib should realise that he has used the wrong people to protect his own dignity. People like Jamal Md Yunus have created more unhappiness even amongst the Malays themselves (see this video clip).
What credibility does one still have when the word ‘kleptocracy’ is used by the DOJ of another country when pointing to the Malaysian Official 1 (MO1)?
Although Najib has denied that he has used the money for his personal gains, it was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan, another of Najib’s generals, who proudly told the world that MO1 refers to none other than Najib himself.
The use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) against a civilian like Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has also brought disrepute to Najib’s own reputation as a reformist.
No phone number?
In an earlier article, we read that Trump had considered Najib as his most favourite prime ministers.
Surely, if Najib is Trump’s favourite prime minister and a golfing buddy, Trump would have given Najib his personal mobile number. Najib would have kept Trump’s personal mobile number without a doubt, right?
After all, I would assume that by then, Najib would have personally called Trump to congratulate him for being elected as the next American president. Najib would have saved the number on his mobile phone especially since Trump is now the president-elect, wouldn’t he?
Pardon me for asking some probing questions. After all, people who are in public office, including Trump, Najib and Rosmah, should be seasoned by now to deal with all sorts of questions.
So, why then did Rosmah have to ask for Trump’s mobile number? How is it that Trump would invite Najib and his family when all we know is that Trump was interested only in making America great again?
What role does a Malaysian prime minister have to play to help America become great again? Does Trump’s meeting with someone already identified as a kleptocrat - and the whole world knows about it - going to help build the president’s personal profile?

If Najib is Trump’s favourite prime minister, I am sure he, too, would have kept Najib’s phone number on his mobile phone in order to make a direct call to Najib. Why would he have to go through a third party to get to Najib? It sounds unconvincing to me that the US president-elect should go through a third party to get in touch with a Malaysian prime minister.
For now, until Najib and Rosmah visits the US, this simply does not make sense at all. The more I think about it, the story comes out as unconvincing to say the very least.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.- Mkini

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