|Our Prime Minister Najib in pink, in the background|
The White House said Najib, along with aides Joe Paulsen and Mike Brush, was playing with the president on the course at the Marine Corps base at Kanehoe Bay. Turns out Najib was in town on his own getaway, and it is not unprecedented for Obama to do a golf summit with a world leader. Last year in Hawaii, he played with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. (In 2011, Obama famously played a round with House Speaker John A. Boehner at Andrews Air Force Base that did not exactly lead to a good working relationship off the course.)
Obama has established perhaps a better working relationship with Najib, after making the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to Malaysia in nearly half a century last spring. It was unlikely they had an in-depth discussion of their foreign policy agendas on the course, however, but perhaps focusing instead on trying to avoid the sand traps.
In a statement, the White House said: "The two leaders took the opportunity to discuss the growing and warming relationship between the United States and Malaysia. The president said he looked forward to working with Prime Minister Najib in 2015, during Malaysia's chair year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations."
On the 18th hole, reporters were allowed onto the course briefly. Obama missed a putt to the left off the hole, then tried to tap in but "picked the ball up before it missed again," according to a pool report. Najib also missed a second putt, but Obama consoled him with a pat on the shoulder. - WASHINGTON POST
Newbie in a foursome, avoiding sand traps and about being consoled by none other than the US President certainly makes a good read.
If you take golf out of the equation then the whole paragraph above would send different signals to different people. Painting a perception, in most instances, is vital.
Ok, don't underestimate the perception when our Prime Minister is engaged in a foursome with Supreme Commander of the US Military, the most powerful war machine in the world.
Obama 'looking forward to working with Najib in 2015' paints a perception that the Malaysian PM will most probably remain in his seat despite the growing uneasiness to his lame, flip-flop leadership.
The possibility of Obama and Najib focusing on how to avoid sand traps would certainly be useful for both leaders. Obama has his problems too, from Russians to the Republicans.
Najib in the meantime could probably use the 'how to avoid sand traps' manual to handle the 1MDB saga. I see Najib's strategists, advisors and all those bangangs are still busy shooting messengers.
Oh ya, don't worry Najib Tun Razak with the fact that more than 100,000 people have been displaced in Malaysia due to floods and at least one or two states may opt to declare a state of emergency if the situation worsens.
The fact that the Prime Minister is away on holiday while the country is wrecked by disaster is nothing new. Jangan mudah lupa.
Najib is certainly heading in Pak Lah's direction.
Nasi Kandar (banjir) dah bungkus will lead you to Nasi (Kandar Perth) dah bungkus.
In December2006/January2007 when Johor experienced its worst floods in a hundred years, Pak Lah was on holiday in Perth. Jangan mudah lupa. We, the pro-government guys had hit out at him.
If its the same set of rules, start counting.
p/s I wonder if Obama and Najib also discussed Anwar Ibrahim. I really wonder.