KUALA LUMPUR: Amanah today said, based on reports and transcripts of the meeting between Prime Minister Najib Razak and US President Donald Trump, Malaysia’s leader did not make any headway in the 1MDB issue.
Amanah strategy director Dzulkefly Ahmad said everyone knew that Najib’s “pressing need” was to put the 1MDB controversy behind him with the Trump meet.
“But he doesn’t seem to have made any headway in that direction. But in all fairness, he must also be more than elated that Trump didn’t raise the issue at all. Trump could have easily embarrassed him with his abrasive way but he (reportedly) didn’t.”
Opposition politicians and political analysts have speculated that the main reason for Najib’s visit was to ameliorate the damage caused by the US Department of Justice’s probe into 1MDB transactions as well as into several people said to be close to Najib.
He added that Malaysians however, were unlikely to get to know “what really transpired” in the four-eyed meeting between Najib and Trump.
Dzulkefly asked what Najib had achieved or had really hoped to achieve by the visit.
The question was important, Dzulkefly said, because Najib had acted as if he represented a “capital-rich nation” on a benevolent mission to help an ailing one (capital-poor one) when Malaysia itself was borrowing from others.
He noted that, among other things, Najib committed himself to help Trump strengthen the US economy, including by getting Malaysia Airlines to buy Boeing planes and promising to help fight the Islamic State terrorists.
On the other hand, Dzulkefly said, it was clear what Trump hoped to achieve.
“Understandably Trump is bent on enlarging his circle of allies, who could help thwart a growing China’s influence in South East Asia and North Korea’s nuclear threat.”
He noted that Trump had met a few other heads of Asean states individually earlier. – FMT