KUALA LUMPUR: Amanah said to cover-up his “blunder” during his meeting with President Donald Trump, Najib Razak may have tried to announce the cross-over of several politicians from the opposition, but failed in this too.
Only former Selangor menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib crossed over from the opposition to Umno, a tremendous let-down after all the hype about an impending important announcement by the prime minister, Amanah strategy director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said.
Word had spread, he said, that eight assemblymen from the ruling government would be crossing over to the Barisan Nasional, causing the Selangor government to collapse. But this did not take place.
Najib’s attempt to move the spotlight away from his meeting with Trump and the 1MDB fiasco had failed, Dzulkefly said in a statement.
“Yes, the rakyat took real offence over Najib’s very unfortunate statement of ‘We want to help you in strengthening the US economy’ when he submitted his three ‘strong value proposition’ programmes ( to Trump).”
Dzulkefly went on to ask whether “strengthening the US economy”, as stated by Najib, was the real reason for the purchase of 25 Boeing 737’s and eight 787 Dreamliners by Malaysia Airlines.
He said Najib went overboard when, after talking of the probablity of Malaysia Airlines buying another 25 737 MAX 10 planes in the near future, he said he hoped ot persuade AirAsia, an entirely private entity, to purchase GE engines.
He noted the pledges by Najib that both the Employees Provident Fund and Khazanah Nasional would increase their investments in the US.
He asked why the prime minister, who had earlier talked of strengthening the US economy, was not talking about good profits and returns on all these investments for Malaysia.
“We would have been more dignified and exalted, as a modest sovereign nation, if only you had honestly explained why our EPF and Khazanah will continue to invest in the US, i.e. for good returns on investment. But you didn’t!
He added: “Having courted China and almost married to the new superpower with a dowry of RM144 billion, we thought you’d be smart enough to be in for a ‘game of poker’ with President Trump! But you clearly failed.”
Dzulkefly asked if, besides the fear of being “crucified” on 1MDB, Najib was “worried sick that all the earlier posturing towards China” had in fact irked the Americans and Trump.