Let’s look at some of the key points that surfaced:
- Malaysia committed to buy 33 Boeing planes and probably 25 more in a US$10-20bn deal over the next five years.
- Malaysian government to try and persuade Air Asia to buy General Electric engines. (Isn’t that their own business decision?)
- EPF already has US$7bn in the US; to pump in another US$3-4bn there for US infrastructure development.
- Khazanah to increase investments in the US.
- Malaysia has stopped dealings with North Korea (What were we doing with them in the first place?)
- Malaysia to crack down hard on extremist groups.
So what is Malaysia getting in return for all this?
Najib describes Malaysia as having a progressive, moderate government. Really? How does that square with his administration’s backing for Hadi’s RUU355?
No mention here of the elephant in the room: 1MDB and the US Department of Justice.
No mention here of the Rohingya, either.
Meanwhile, Najib and the Malaysian delegation were seen at the Trump International Hotel, reports the Washington Post:
Trump has come under fire for declining to divest of his interest in the hotel, which is now managed by his sons, creating opportunities for foreign governments and special interests to enrich the president while also seeking changes to U.S. policy, in Najib’s case within a few minutes’ time.
Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of Malaysia before bilateral meeting
12:11 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s great to have the Prime Minister of Malaysia and his very distinguished delegation with us today. We’re talking 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.
Also, Malaysia is a massive investor in the United States in the form of stocks and bonds, and the stock exchange. And they have to be very happy because we’re hitting new highs on almost a weekly basis. And so we’re very proud of our stock market and what’s happened since I became President. So I congratulate you on those investments.
But I just want to say, it’s an honor to have you here. It’s an honor to have your delegation with us. I believe you’ll be at the United Nations next week, and a lot of folks are going to be at the United Nations next week. It should be an exciting week, and we look very much forward to that.
But I want to thank you very much for all of the investment you’ve made in the United States. Also, 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.
He does not do business with North Korea any longer, and we find that to be very important. We had a vote yesterday on sanctions. We think it’s just another very small step — not a big deal. Rex and I were just discussing — not big. I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote. But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.
So thank you everyone for being here, and we appreciate it. Mr. Prime Minister, it’s a great honor to have you in the United States and in the White House. And thank you everyone for being here. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Would you like to say something?
PRIME MINISTER RAZAK: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your invitation for me and members of my delegation to meet with you at the White House. I want to say that we come here with a strong value proposition to put on the table.
Number one, we want to help you in terms of strengthening the U.S. economy. I come with three specific proposals. Number one, 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. And there is a strong probability — not possibility – probability that we will add 25 more 737 MAX 10 in the near future. So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond $10 billion. That’s one. We will also try to persuade AirAsia to purchase GE engines.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Great.
PRIME MINISTER RAZAK: Secondly, we have Employees Provident Fund, which is a major pension fund in Malaysia. They’ve got 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 three to four additional billion dollars to support your infrastructure redevelopment in the United States.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Great.
PRIME MINISTER RAZAK: And thirdly, our sovereign fund, Khazanah, they have an office in Silicon Valley. They have invested about $400 million, in terms of high-tech companies, and they intend to increase that investment as well.
Secondly, the other goal of your administration, Mr. President, which is to make the United States safe — and with that, the world safe — 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.
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 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.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.
PRIME MINISTER RAZAK: So, Mr. President, thank you once again. The United States has always been our partner for a long, long time. And this year is our 60th anniversary of our relationship, and I hope that today’s meeting will make it even stronger in the years to come.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Source: White House