An Overview Of What Trump And Najib Talked About At The White House
On Tuesday, 12 September, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak met with President Donald Trump at the White House
PM Najib was warmly welcomed by President Trump on arrival for their one-on-one meeting at the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Below is an overview of what both the leaders talked about during their bilateral meeting at the White House's Cabinet room.
1. Steering clear of the investigation by the Justice Department into the 1MDB scandal, President Trump praised PM Najib for investments in the United States
President Trump, who said that he was honoured to have Najib and the Malaysian delegate over in a historic meeting marking the two countries' 60 years of bilateral ties, talked about trade -- very large trade deals.
"We’re working on one deal where between 10 and 20 billion dollars’ worth of Boeing jets are going to be purchased, General Electric engines will be purchased, and many other things," the US President said.
"Malaysia is a massive investor in the United States in the form of stocks and bonds and the stock exchange. ..they have to be very happy because we’re hitting new highs on almost a weekly basis. ..so we’re very proud of our stock market and what’s happened since I became President. So I congratulate you on those investments."
2. Commending Najib's role in the fight against terrorism, the US President said that Najib has taken measures to ensure that terror groups had no place in society
"The Prime Minister has a major role in not allowing ISIS -- or, as you say, Daesh -- and others to exist. And he’s been very, very strong on terrorism in Malaysia, and a great supporter from that standpoint. So that’s a very important thing to the United States."
3. While playing down the importance of tough new sanctions against North Korea, Trump praised Najib for not doing business with North Korea any longer
Trump praised Malaysia for refusing to trade with North Korea. He, however, said it was difficult to know if the new sanctions, approved by the United Nations Security Council, would have any impact on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's weapons tests.
"We think it's just another very small step – not a big deal," Trump said, adding that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "were just discussing not knowing if it has any impact. But it's nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote" from the Security Council.
"But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen."
4. Najib, while speaking on the trade, told Trump that MAS would buy 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners
"We intend to increase the number of Boeing planes to be purchased by MAS. We are committed to 25 planes of the 737 MAX 10, plus eight 787 Dreamliners.," Najib said, adding that there is a strong probability that "we will add 25 more 737 MAX 10 in the near future. So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond USD10 billion."
"We will also try to persuade AirAsia to purchase GE engines," Najib said.
5. Najib said Malaysia's EPF wanted to spend USD3 billion to USD4 billion on U.S. infrastructure redevelopment
"We have Employees Provident Fund. ..They’ve got quite a big sum of capital to be exported. They have invested close to USD7 billion, in terms of equity, in the United States. And they intend to invest three to four additional billion dollars to support your infrastructure redevelopment in the United States."
Najib also said that Malaysia's sovereign fund, Khazanah, too intends to increase its investment in the US. Khazanah has so far invested about USD400 million in the US in terms of high-tech companies. It also has an office in Silicon Valley.
6. Najib, while speaking on the issue of fighting terrorism, said that Malaysia stood shoulder to shoulder with the US
"We are committed to fight Daesh, IS, Al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf -- you name it. They are the enemy of the United States, they are also the enemy of Malaysia, and we will do our part to make sure that our part of the world is safe," Najib said, adding that Malaysia will also "contribute in terms of the ideological warfare because you need to win the hearts and minds."
While touching on the need to back moderate Muslim governments and win the hearts and minds of the Muslim community in a bid to combat the terrorism scourge, Najib said, "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 is the authentic face of Islam.
"The more you align with progressive and moderate regimes, the better it would be in terms of winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world."