KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Earlier this month, South China Morning Post reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak keeps a photo of himself and United States president-elect Donald Trump in his office with the words “To my favourite Prime Minister”.
Today, Najib recounted the story behind the photo in an interview with English daily Sunday Star, revealing that it was taken after the two had won a golf game as a partner several years ago.
According to the prime minister, it was a Sunday after a United Nations General Assembly when several Malaysian leaders went golfing at the upscale Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, about an hour out of New York.
Najib said Trump decided to join in the game after he heard about his Malaysian guests, which had also included then Ambassador to the US, the late Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis.
“So, he and I partnered and we won the game. We took a photo together with JJ and for some reason, I put the photo next to my desk in my office,” said Najib, using Jamaluddin’s moniker.
Najib added that the memento of their game was then autographed by the billionaire with the words: “To my favourite Prime Minister. Great win!”
“I did it before he became as famous as he is today,” he added.
“We called each other a few times and after that, he became so involved in the process so I didn’t quite follow up with him. Maybe later, once he’s settled in,” said Najib, referring to Trump’s presidential campaign.
After Trump’s shock win on November 8, Najib said the magnate’s appeal to Americans who want to see their government more focused on their interests and welfare, and less embroiled in foreign interventions that have proven to run counter to US interests — have resulted in his victory.
“I congratulate him on this extraordinary victory, and look forward to meeting him again soon,” Najib added.
Najib had later expressed his hope that Trump would approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and does not scrap it as pledged in the latter’s presidential campaigns.
He also sought to allay concerns over Malaysia’s partnership with the US, saying the new American leader would not likely jeopardise bilateral relations as it still needed Malaysia’s co-operation.