A lopsided meeting between Trump and Najib


(Updated )

COMMENT | The public statements made by both US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak are somewhat lopsided.

It reminds me of the bunga mas (translated as golden flowers) which was paid as a tribute to the King of Siam by its vassal states in the Malay Peninsula once every three years in return for its protection.

Although this illustration may be slightly overstretched, the visit by Najib to the US White House should have yielded in a better deal with Malaysia.

Instead, we see Najib offering three proposals without getting anything in return, except some words of praise from the American president. This is nothing but a simple formality to thank Najib for contributing towards the US economy.

Let’s look at the three economic proposals made by the Malaysian side and how the US responded in return.

Najib’s economic proposals

The first proposal was for MAS to purchase 33 Boeing jets, and to convince AirAsia to purchase General Electric engines.

What I am reading here is that the government can order MAS to purchase the Boeing jets without a doubt, but it is still unable to convince AirAsia to purchase the General Electric engines at the time of the purchase.

This is because Tony Fernandes being an entrepreneur would have to evaluate various proposals from different suppliers before making a good decision to purchase any engine.

We have not heard from Najib where the money is going to come from and over how many years the Boeing jets would be purchased. I believe the devil is in the details, and I leave this to people like Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli to comb through. I am only an ordinary man in the street with a degree in Science but more of a marketing man and a writer.

Secondly, Najib said the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) would double its investments in the US. Without going into the details again, Najib should realise that many viable Malaysian businesses also need a lot of investments...

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