KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — It was a hive of activity behind the police cordon at house number 11 Jalan Langgak Duta.
The house was filled with boxes and luggage that appeared to have been hastily transported from Seri Perdana, the prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya. In what appears to have been a former guest room, more boxes were arranged in rows that reached almost to the ceiling.
Maids and butlers were bustling about, ushering in group after group of visitors and their children who wanted to meet former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Perhaps the only occupant in the house that appeared the least perturbed was the family’s Persian cat, Kiky.
Ignoring everyone’s presence, she walked right up to Najib, who had just entered the room to greet his visitors, and plonked her plump body near his feet, demanding his attention.
“Datuk Seri, your cat seems to not like us,” I told Najib.
He laughed, looked at Kiky and said: “This cat? This cat’s the laziest cat in the world.”
I was really there to interview Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. But while waiting, the cat provided the chance for a word with the Pekan MP.
Life after GE14
Having lost his job as prime minister and resigned as president of Umno and chairman of Barisan Nasional, Najib said he was now easing into “retirement”.
“My daily life? I’m jobless. I’m unemployed,” he told Malay Mail, laughing.
“I will provide my thoughts on how the country is going, but let me take a break and sort out my personal side first,” Najib said when asked.
What’s his next move? Blogging perhaps?
“I don’t know yet. I will see how things develop. Give me time, because it’s still early days yet, but I will do whatever I can to contribute to the country because the country needs people who can give their thoughts,” he said.
Role in Umno
Despite having stepped down as its leader, Najib expressed interest in rebuilding the Malay nationalist party that was found to have secured only one-third of the votes in the May 9 general election.
Of the 11,642,437 voters, BN secured 4.24 million votes, making up only 36.42 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Pakatan Harapan coalition that won the polls, scored 5.51 million votes, or 47.33 per cent of votes.
“You know yesterday, I was in the Umno headquarters. I saw the pictures over the years and I said to myself, Umno has contributed so much. This county is synonymous with Umno, you know. From the beginning until now. It is my duty to ensure that we will gain back the pre-eminent role.
“Well, I’m going to help. Even though I resigned as president, I can still help in whatever way I can,” he said to Malay Mail in his first media interview since the events of May 9.
When asked if Umno members still visit him for directions and insights to running the party, Najib replied in the affirmative.
“Well, they are coming. Every day, we are getting people. You know, they kind of miss me lah,” he said and smiled.