GEORGE TOWN: Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has continued to heap scorn on Prime Minister Najib Razak for his recent visit to the White House, labelling it the “most expensive” photo op in history.
The former prime minister claimed that the “price tag” to have a picture taken with US President Donald Trump was “US$20 billion” since Najib announced plans to purchase billions in American aeroplanes during the meeting.
Najib reportedly told Trump that Malaysia Airlines would purchase 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners from the same company, with another 25 737s slated for purchase in the near future.
He said the deal would be worth more than US$10 billion (RM41.9 billion) within five years.
The PM also said that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) wanted to invest US$3-4 billion on US infrastructure development.
“I want to say that we came here with a strong value proposition to put on the table. We want to help you strengthen the US economy,” Najib told Trump.
Trump had reportedly responded by thanking Najib. “I want to thank you very much for all the investments you have made in the United States,” the US president had said during a joint appearance in the Cabinet Room, heralding the Boeing deal as being worth “US$20 billion”.
Speaking at a fundraising dinner organised by DAP in Penang last night, Mahathir taunted Najib, saying that if he had so badly wanted a photo opportunity with the US president, he could have done so by standing next to a wax statue or standee of Trump with the White House as a backdrop.
“ Apparently, Malaysia wants to help improve the US economy. You must look at the body language when the offer was made,” the PPBM chairman said.
“Najib was seated in front of Trump when he made that offer. After proudly proclaiming that he wanted to spend US$20 billion, Trump said ‘great’.
“He did not get up and say, ‘Eh Mr Najib sir, thank you very much, I need this US$20 billion’ nor did Trump get up and hug and kiss Najib,” the 92-year old, who governed Malaysia for 22 years till 2003, said to applause at the event attended by about 3,000 people.
He said Najib’s offer to support the US economy was laughable when Malaysia was not even able to send bright students overseas on scholarships.
“Do you still want him? Please lah… After the 14th general election, we will have a PH government,” Mahathir said.
Also present were DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Penang PPBM chief Marzuki Yahaya, Amanah president Mohamed Sabu and PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.