Trump was at the centre of attraction at the 2017 Asean Summit in Manila, Philippines. But the superstar was none other than the host President Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte. The Filipino leader gets to rub shoulders with the world’s most powerful man, despite breaking every possible law concerning human rights, something cherished by the U.S., in its war on drugs.
However, there’s one particular leader in the region who wasn’t very happy as things didn’t go as planned. Najib Razak wished he could switch place with “Dirty Harry” Duterte. It didn’t seem fair though. Duterte openly admits to killing, called a sitting U.S. president a “son of a bitch” and even screwed the U.S. by declaring the “separation” from the nation.
Yet, the Philippines leader had received a super-friendly call from President Trump, and now has stolen every single thunder for himself. Duterte doesn’t need to go to Washington for apple polishing. The U.S. president flew to Manila instead. Mr. Najib, on the other hand, had flown more than 15,000-km to Washington, bearing gift amounting to US$20 billion of investment bribes.
Not only Mr. Najib – Prime Minister of Malaysia – was deeply humiliated and shocked when told at the eleventh hour that there would be no photo ops, there wasn’t even a proper luncheon offered by Trump administration. It was absolutely a bad deal with zero ROI (return on investment). Heck, he even deliberately stayed at Trump International Hotel to suck up to the U.S. president.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore who visited the White House a month later (October 2017) was accorded a warmer and a much honourable treatment. There were tons of photo ops, luncheon with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet Secretaries and of course, a joint statement at the Rose Garden. Najib didn’t receive any of those and had to eat himself.
As part of damage control, Mr. Najib’s band of paid bloggers claimed that their boss’ visit to the White House 2 month ago was merely a working visit, so naturally there weren’t any bells and whistles. But so was Mr. Lee’s visit to the White House. Hsien Loong’s working visit, however, came with a working luncheon, mandatory photo ops and a joint statement at the Rose Garden.
Najib supporters can argue until the cows come home. The fact remains that President Donald Trump had humiliated their boss and the millions paid to the White House lobbyist was an absolutely waste. After all, Najib had personally revealed to international press BBC that Trump had signed a photograph with the description – “To My Favourite PM.”
But if a latest viral video clip is any indicator, it would put to question as to how much Trump appreciates his friendship with Najib. Apparently, President Donald Trump was seated with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana for a dinner at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila, Philippines.
Trump was cheerfully having a conversation with the First Lady Iriana through presumably a lady translator. Moments later, Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor, emerged follows behind by her husband. Unless the 45th POTUS was blind, which he obviously isn’t, he saw the oversized Rosmah, wearing red from neck to toe, approaching – eager to strike a conversation.
As stunningly as his unexpected presidency victory last year, Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump made a swift brilliant tactical move. He abruptly ended whatever conversation he was having and exercised his arm-fold posture, the same stunt he pulled at the White House when Najib Razak made his offering of a strong value proposition to “Make America Great Again.”
Indonesian First Lady Iriana must have thought that President Trump had seen a ghost as the U.S. president pretended – poorly done – that he wasn’t there. Rosmah knew Trump saw her and Trump knew she knew he saw her. Trump’s body language, however, says it would be a suicide mission should Rosmah put on a thick skin and approached the U.S. president only to be ignored completely.
With tail between her legs, Rosmah marched away – obviously bloody mad and furious – at the ungrateful U.S. president. Didn’t his husband just promised a whopping US$20 billion to his administration? Prime Minister Najib Razak obediently followed from behind, pretending that he didn’t mind his self-proclaimed golf buddy and good friend had chosen to ignore him like a plague.
The best part was when the lady translator took a naughty peek at Rosmah, often called the hippo by her own Malaysian people, as she passed by President Trump – still madly angry. Clearly, she tried terribly hard not to laugh at the whole drama. Her grin is the best proof that Trump had deliberately put up the stunt in order to avoid being seen talking to the world’s biggest crook couple.
The burning question is this – can Mr. Najib still consider Mr. Trump his best friend, considering his ungrateful act of pretence which has now put the Malaysian leader in a disgraceful position? With friends like Donald Trump, does Najib Razak need enemies? Has moron Trump finally realized that Najib’s promise of US$20 billion investments were nothing but empty rhetoric?
Rosmah Mansor was exposed by the U.S.-Department of Justice as most likely the “wife of Malaysian Official 1” who had purchased a US$27 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace using money siphoned from Najib’s 1MDB Ponzi Scheme. 1MDB is the largest action brought under the U.S. Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative – involving stolen money of more than US$4.5 billion.
The First Family of Malaysia has an extraordinary history of bragging and gloating about being on the good book of U.S president. While Najib had bragged about being Trump’s favourite prime minister and golf buddy, Rosmah once boasted about Trump asking Najib to call him back at 4:30am. Their daughter, Nooryana Najwa, had also bragged about meeting Ivanka Trump.
Government-controlled mainstream media has published that Trump praised Najib for carrying out an excellent job with regard to Malaysia’s role as country coordinator for Asean-US dialogue relations. If that was indeed true, it didn’t explain the un-explainable behaviour of Trump as exposed in the video clip – avoiding his good friend as if he was toxic with a 10-foot pole.
Donald Trump might have a big mouth, and even a cunning businessman. But acting like a seasoned politician is not his forte. Among the so-called politicians in Washington, he’s a bloody bluntly honest person. He’s the best and honest friend you could get at the Capitol. But if even he has to pull every rabbit out of a hat to avoid Najib, the son of Razak is indeed a deplorable person to befriend.