Mat Sabu regales hometown crowd with stories from Putrajaya

Mat Sabu (front row, in brown shirt) poses for a picture with the crowd at the Penang Amanah Hari Raya open house in Butterworth, Penang, today.

BUTTERWORTH: Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu had the crowd at the Penang Amanah Hari Raya open house in stitches today as he regaled them with what it was like being the defence minister.

He said he was still in shock over Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the May 9 general election, adding that the front-pages of the mainstream dailies announcing the results were still fresh in his mind.

Speaking of his experience thus far, Mohamad, who is also known as Mat Sabu, said he was grappling with protocols and “Bahasa Istana” (royal court language) when meeting members of royalty over the past two months.

He jokingly said this was because Penang was a state without sultans. (Penang has a governor as head of state).

Mohamad said he was also astounded by the number of valuables and cash seized by police from the premises linked to former prime minister Najib Razak.

“With RM1.1 billion worth of items seized, RM120 million in cash, over 500 handbags… when are you going to carry them all?

“This is just one minister, if five or six more former ministers’ homes were raided, you will be more shocked,” he told a 1,000-strong crowd at Sungai Dua here today.

Mat Sabu said he was also amazed at the number of days it took the police to count and verify the seized cash and other items, saying it reminded him of a scene from P Ramlee’s Pendekar Bujang Lapok.

While paying homage to his hometown of Kampung Guar Petai not far from here, Mat Sabu told the crowd he was impressed by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s work ethics, adding that the PM arrived for work at 8.30am sharp every day.

“As the new defence minister, I have to work all day, leaving in the morning, coming back late at night. Sometimes, I want to complain that I am tired, but I dare not, my boss is 93-years-old.

“I am 63 now. Imagine if I was 93. I would go to the warung, order a glass of Milo and get a glass of coffee instead.

“I suppose that would be my life if I was 93.”