On Christmas eve, Najib tees off with Obama in Hawaii

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak get in their golf cart after playing on the 18th green at the Clipper Golf course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii during Obama’s Christmas holiday vacation in Kaneohe, Hawaii, December 25, 2014. — Reuters pic
US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak get in their golf cart after playing on the 18th green at the Clipper Golf course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii during Obama’s Christmas holiday vacation in Kaneohe, Hawaii, December 25, 2014. — Reuters pic

HONOLULU, Dec 25 — It’s well-known that President Obama generally doesn’t mix business and pleasure. But by the looks of it, Obama broke from his usual vacation practice of golfing with a handful of close aides and friends when he added another player to his usual foursome yesterday — Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Quoting the White House, The Washington Post said, Najib, along with aides Joe Paulsen and Mike Brush, had a round of teeing with the president at the Marine Corps base at Kanehoe Bay. Najib had been in town on his own personal getaway, and it is not unprecedented for Obama to do a golf summit with a world leader. He played with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key last year in Hawaii.

According to the report, it may seem that Obama has established a better working relationship with Najib after his official visit Malaysia earlier this year, the first ever by a sitting US president in nearly half a century.

Reporters were briefly allowed onto the course and according to the report, Obama missed a putt to the left off the hole, then tried to tap in but “picked the ball up before it missed again”. Najib also missed a second putt, but Obama “consoled him with a pat on the shoulder”.

In response to a question by Wall Street Journal reporter Carol Lee on the Sony hack, “I’m glad it’s being released,” replied Obama, who had criticised the studio last week for its initial decision not to screen “The Interview”.

The president went on to wish the reporters a Merry Christmas, according to the report: “Be careful about those fruity drinks. You never know they might have a little kick.”

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