Never before has a Prime Minister of Malaysia invested so much on publicity and propaganda (not to mention funds) for his visit to the United States to visit the White House and meet with US President Trump in Washington Tuesday or several hours from now.
On his departure for the US on Sept. 10, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak wrote a special article in his blog entitled “Malaysia’s Record of Democracy and Free Speech is Strong” extolling his own democratic virtues and commitments and human rights record, which are quite dismal indeed.
But this was not enough. On Sept. 11, the Prime Minister’s Office ensured that Najib’s special message appeared in the top American political website, the Hill, entitled: “Malaysian prime minister: Trump, we have your back in fighting ISIS”.
But all these PR exercises to generate positive vibes for Najib’s visit to the White House and meeting with President Trump were drowned in an ocean of bad press, not only in the United States but in the world as well.
This is illustrated by the catalogue of bad press in the US and world media about Najib’s US visit, such as:
• Scandal-hit Malaysian leader Najib to visit White House (Japan Times).
• Trump to meet scandal-hit Malaysian leader in September (Reuters).
• With Trump meeting, Malaysia’s PM seeks to p0ut 1MDB scandal behind him (Reuters).
• Malaysian Leader in Billion-Dollar Scandal Is Invited to White House (New York Times).
• Trump’s hosting of Malaysia’s prime minister marks another setback for the rule of law (Washington Post).
• Trump’s Malaysia Swamp – Editorial (Wall Street Journal).
• 1MDB Stolen Funds Witnesses Are Scared To Talk, FBI Says (Bloomberg)
• Najib Set to Meet Trump as 1MDB Probe Deepens (Bloomberg)
• Najib to visit Trump to play down 1MDB graft probe (The Australian)
• Malaysia PM Najib Razak, under cloud of 1MDB corruption scandal, to be invited to White House (Sydney Morning Herald).
• Meeting World’s Biggest Crook Najib – Trump Should Stop Trying To Prove He’s The U.S. Biggest Moron (Finance Twitter)
• Donald Trump meets politician embroiled in a corruption scandal (London Express).
No Prime Minister of Malaysia in the past 60 years had to face such phalanx of international media hostility or avalanche of adverse press publicity both in the United States and the world, and it is inconceivable that Najib would have the credibility to salvage his own as well as the nation’s reputation with his visit to the United States, although Najib’s propagandists would have all the publicity material ready and lined up for the coming days, weeks and months to present Najib’s trip to the White House and meeting with US President Trump to the Malaysian voters in the most positive light, though it is likely to have the least impact on Malaysian voters from all races, religions and regions.
There are those who say that at the White House meeting Trump will tell Najib that the Department of Justice ((DOJ) will call off the investigation into 1MDB and the corruption that surrounds it.
As the former US Ambassador to Malaysia, John Mallot, has said, this is “baloney” – “Don’t count on it. Trump cannot even call off the DOJ investigation into himself! So forget that idea.”
This has now been confirmed by the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who said yesterday that the US DOJ’s investigation into the 1MDB scandal is independent of the upcoming discussion between Najib and Trump later today in the White House.
It makes no difference, as after Najib’s White House visit and photo-op with Trump, Najib’s infamy as “kleptocrat” and “MO1” and Malaysia’s shame for being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” remain.
Sanders said that Najib and Trump will discuss regional and security issues like counter-terrorism, ISIS, North Korea and maritime security in
South China Sea.
Malaysians are disappointed that Najib cannot free Malaysia from the ignominy and infamy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocrat, with him tarred as “kleptocrat” as “MO1” as there is no issue more important to Malaysia than to free Malaysia from the trap and curse of an global kleptocracy – which is more important than any issue which is to be discussed between Najib and Trump in the White House later today.