Najib-Trump Meeting: Invest More in the US, Fight Terrorism

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The much-anticipated meeting at the White House was focussed on trade and counter-terrorism.

Trump:

  • Thanked Malaysia for its investments in the US
  • Praised Najib for being very strong on fighting terrorism
  • Noted that Malaysia does not do business with North Korea any longer

Najib:

  • Committed to purchasing Boeing planes worth over $10 billion
  • Said that EPF intend to invest additional $3b-$4b to support US infrastructure redevelopment
  • Stated that Khazanah plan to increase their investment in the US
  • Pledged to fight terror groups to keep our part of the world safe
  • Called for support of moderate and progressive Muslim regimes
Mohd Najib Tun Razak/Twitter

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is in Washington at the invitation of Donald Trump, arrived at the White House at about 11.46am US time on Tuesday and was greeted by the President at the West Wing.

Both leaders wore dark suits and blue ties.

Najib had a one-on-one meeting with Trump at the Oval Office before they joined senior administration leaders from both countries for a delegation meeting in the Cabinet Room.

The American delegation included Vice President Mike Pence, State Secretary Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor Lt Gen HR McMaster, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, and US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Lakhdhir.

Mohd Najib Tun Razak/Twitter

Accompanying Najib at the meeting were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, National Security Council director-general Tan Sri Jen (r) Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim, Wisma Putra secretary-general Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim, and Ambassador to the US Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique.

Mohd Najib Tun Razak/Twitter

Trump said it was a great honour to welcome Najib to the US and White House.

He said Malaysia was a vital trading and investment partner for the US, citing its recent purchase of $10 billion-$20 billion (RM42 billion-RM84 billion) in aircraft from Chicago-based Boeing.

“Malaysia is a massive investor in the US in the forms of stocks and bonds in the stock exchange.

“I want to thank you for all the investments you’ve made in the US,” Trump said.

AP

He added that Najib has a major role to play in not allowing the IS to exist.

“He’s been very, very strong on terrorism in Malaysia and a great supporter from that standpoint.

“He does not do business with North Korea any longer and we find that to be very important,” the President said.

Najib then thanked Trump for his invitation to the White House.

“We come here with a strong value proposition to put on the table. We want to help you in terms of strengthening the US economy. I come with three specific proposals,” Najib said.

“We intend to increase the number of Boeing planes to be purchased by MAS. We are committed to 25 737s plus eight 787 Dreamliners.

“There is a strong probability, not possibility, probability that we’ll have 24, 25 more 737s in the future. So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond $10 billion.

“We will also try to persuade Air Asia to purchase GE engines,” he said.

“Secondly, we have an Employee Provident Fund.

“They have quite a big sum of capital to be exported.

They have invested close to $7 billion in terms of equity in the United States and they intend to invest additional $3 billion-$4 billion to support your infrastructure redevelopment in the United States,” Najib said.

“Thirdly, our sovereign fund Khazanah, they have an office in Silicon Valley. They have invested about $400 million in terms of hi-tech companies and they intend to increase that investment,” the prime minister said.

In relation to another goal of the Trump administration, which is to make the US and the world safe, Najib said: “We are committed to fighting the IS, Al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, you name it. They are the enemies of the United States, they are also the enemies of Malaysia and we will do our part to make sure that our part of the world is safe.”

“We will also contribute in terms of the ideological warfare because you need to win the hearts and minds and the key to it is to support moderate and progressive Muslim regimes and governments around the world because that is the true face of Islam, that’s the authentic face of Islam.

“The more you align with moderate and progressive regimes the better it would be in terms of winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world,” Najib added.

He ended by saying he hoped that the meeting will make the relationship between the two countries even stronger in the years to come.

According to Trump’s schedule posted on his personal Facebook page, the meeting with Najib was the fourth agenda on the US president’s agenda yesterday.

Trump and Najib were to then have an extended meeting.

Najib is currently in the US for a three-day working visit which started on Monday as Malaysia and the US celebrate 60 years of bilateral ties.

Following the meeting, the Washington Post, New York Times, Fox News, NBC and a host of other US media published a story from the Associated Press (AP) with the headline ‘Trump meeting with Malaysian prime minister under scrutiny’, where it pointedly reported that “the massive corruption scandal swirling around Najib’s multibillion-dollar state fund” was left unsaid by either leader.

The AP story also mentioned the US Justice Department’s 1MDB probe and said that “Najib has resisted calls to resign” and “has clamped down on critics”.

Reuters reported: “The visit is important for Najib, who faces elections next year and wants to signal he is still welcome at the White House despite a criminal probe by the US Justice Department into a state fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).


Related reports:

Sept 12, DoJ 1MDB Probe Apolitical, Independent of Najib-Trump Meet, Says White House

Sep 12, Najib Arrives in US Ahead of Meeting with Trump