Saturday, September 16, 2017

Najib's trip to Washington - Fake News from the Truth?

MM Editor-in Chief Wing Sai Wan has been so incensed by the 'nonsense' (his words) published in some media outlet since Najib's recent trip to meet up with Trump that he felt compelled to disabuse those 'fake news' from the truth. Let's hear what Wong has to say in the MM Online:

Commentary by WONG SAI WAN

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — I never intended to write this piece but the nonsense that I have been reading on social media in the past three days has compelled me to put to writing to separate fact from fiction.

I was part of the Malaysian press corp that covered the trip and before anyone says it, I will tell you that every single newspaper and TV station paid for their own trip and not the government.

So do not accuse me of being bribed.

How long did they meet?

Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his team met with President Donald Trump and his senior Cabinet members for over 50 minutes of which the Prime Minister met President Trump one-to-one for 20 minutes.

Many critics have pointed to the five-minute video and transcript released by the White House, presuming that it was the only amount of time Najib and team got from their American host.

This is nonsense.

What was released by the White House was nothing more than the opening remarks by the two leaders for the benefit of the tens of TV cameras and a dozen-odd newsmen present in the Cabinet Room in the West Wing of the White House.

It was just a show for the benefit of the cameras and sound bite for the newsmen. What they spoke after the cameras and journalists were gone was much more in depth but unlike the opposition politicians, I will not speculate what was said exactly because I was not there then.

The Opposition leaders were quick to jump on the transcript and video as though that was all that had happened.

But I can confirm that the transcript of the opening remarks was accurate because I was there.

The White House’s protocol officer David Solomon had briefed everyone that we were going into the Cabinet Room just for the opening remarks and would have to leave before the actual meeting started.

The transcript released by the White House was for the benefit of the newsmen present so that they got their quotes correct. As we all know the White House press corp are not very friendly to Trump. So it was released to ensure no one in the US media can misquote him.

As a result, none of the American print media bothered to use much of the transcript at all.

Anything that sounds good for Trump is not news for the US print media.

So the truth is that the bilateral meeting between the American and Malaysian team lasted 30 minutes and not the mere six minutes.

We were told by press officers from both side the two leaders also had a separate meeting with each other in the Oval Room which lasted about 20 minutes.

The EPF investment

Our Employees Provident Fund have been investing in the US equity market since 2008 when the law was amended to allow EPF to invest overseas. As part of the Capital Controls Act introduced in 1998, the EPF was previously not allowed to do so.

In fact, the EPF has invested some US$26 billion since 2008 and has made good returns. If one looks at the markets in Malaysia and compares it with the US after 2008, one will see that the US equity has offered better returns than ours.

I strongly suspect that the majority of over 5.5 per cent dividends that we have been getting since 2009 came from the overseas investments that the EPF has been making.

Below are the dividends EPF has been paying out from 2001 to 2017:

lowest dividend was in year 2002 - who was the pm then?


There is a very high level EPF investment committee made up of respectable professionals.

If Najib had so much control over the EPF then the EPF should be asked to reveal where and what they are investing but the EPF investments are secret. They move so much money in and out of the country that if they let on when and what they are investing in, the money market speculators will make a killing.

On top of the return on the investment, we can safely say that the EPF must have also made a killing from the depreciated ringgit.

Propping up the US economy

This is probably just posturing on the part of Najib in front of an American leader who is out to “make America great again.”

EPF would have already decided what and where they will invest even before Najib’s visit and the decision was based on returns and not to prop up the US economy.

Trump has made it known from when he was campaigning that rebuilding ageing American infrastructure was among his priority. Thus it will only make sense to invest in equities and funds that will benefit from this policy.

So in that sense Malaysia will be investing in making “America great again” but everyone forgets that EPF will probably make a lot of money from doing so.

Najib’s visit to Washington came in the light of a list of countries listed as “Trade Cheats” who are responsible for America’s nearly US$50 billion trade deficit.

Said to be targeted at China, the other countries list are Japan, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Vietnam, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Thailand, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, Indonesia and Canada.

Najib came knowing that he had to show to Trump that trade is a two-way thing and was in Washington bearing goodies.

This was why he chose the phrase “value proposition” when talking about the investments.

Previous Malaysian prime ministers went to the US with the intention of getting investors to come to Malaysia. Najib wanted to show Trump that he was not there to do the same.

Working trip

Najib’s visit to the White House was a working visit at the invitation of Trump. It is not an official or state visit. So far Trump has not invited anyone to Washington for an official or state visit.

Beyond all the pomp and formality, this visit was about business.

Trump broke all protocol when it came to Najib and reminded all his officers twice “he is my friend”.

First was when Najib arrived. Usual protocol would have the Vice-President (in this case Mike Pence) to receive the visiting VIP but Trump decided he would welcome Najib himself at the door.

This was the first time when he told his protocol officer, “he is my friend.”

The second time was when Najib was about to leave. Usually the US president would see his guest to the door of his Oval Office but Trump walked Najib all the way to the downstairs gate to his car.

Again, he brushed off reminders of the protocol by saying “he is my friend.”

As widely reported the two leaders struck up a friendship when they played golf at one of Trump’s golf course. There is a picture of that event in Najib’s office which Trump inscribed on the picture, “To my favourite PM.”

Yes, the two men spoke about golf on this trip but did not play as it was meant for business.

Why then did Najib decided to stay at the Trump International Hotel? Because it was the best one in town and was situated just between the White House and the Capitol Hill. It made logistical sense.

Trump had promised when he became president that any profit made from visiting leaders who stayed at the hotel would be donated to charity. He didn’t make a cent from Najib’s trip.

So was the trip a success? For Najib it was a huge success as it put to rest the negative DOJ stories about him and more importantly he renewed his friendship with Trump.

For Malaysia? It was a good trip as we are now again back on the map for the US and they have reaffirmed Malaysia as a comprehensive partner.


  1. "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it". ~ George Orwell

    “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32

  2. this mm sucker oso use term like we were told, epf would have etc we thus could infer he was there for holiday but pretrnd to work. another faker that criticize others for writing the same fake news.

  3. Hahahahahaha...Ktemoc exposes his true a Najib defender and Najib promoter.

    No worries...some of us have known all along...

    I will say this about the Mainstream Media, of which the Malay Mail Online is part of.

    Upon instructions from the Federal Administration, their Top Management and Editors will write anything, and also spike any story that they are instructed to do so.
    I don't blame the ordinary newspaper journalists - they have to toe the line, else their wife and children will have to eat grass.
    But the MSM Senior management and Senior Editors , of which the likes of Wong Sai Wan and Wong Chun Wai are among them, I consider traitors to their profession, and traitors to the country.

    After the fall of Communist Republic in Romania, the top leaders of the Socialist State's media machine were put on trial as traitors to the people. The maximum penalty would have been death, but softer hearts prevailed.

    All of them were sacked without pension, and a few were sent to prison.

  4. wakakaka, the usual pro Mahathir pro Anwar suspects

    1. Say something MORE concrete than just ad hominem shit lah!!!

    2. that would be akin to casting pearls before swine, wakakaka\

      none are so blind as those who refuse to see (or to read)

    3. sincerely tell us can u kt write the same fascinating kind of shit like this bangsai fella wrote?

    4. I was NOT with najib in washington thus I have to admit I lacked the knowledge to do so

    5. So if u r not there, how can u tell he is not talking cock?

      Cockagroo herd mentality samax2 ular tikus selobang ke?

    6. t'was my query, not my assertion (note question mark?) wakakaka

    7. i am not talking abt the fact, which of course u n me dun know. i am saying this bangsai fella writing style, tone n the wording n content. defensive is fine which is his intention, however the writing is too incredulous, obsequious n farfetched, as a msian, he talked too much abt trump.

      u might write something in similar tone when the subject is lge wakaka.

    8. he sounded angry hence his "I never intended to write this piece but the nonsense that I have been reading on social media in the past three days has compelled me to put to writing to separate fact from fiction."

  5. Actually we are more interested to know how much you agreed with the whole passage, every line?

    You have not expressed any opinion. What is your intention? So that you can say "please tell where did I say so"?

    1. as I mentioned I wasn't there in washington which was what wong sai wan based most of his story on. on epf investment, that's not my speciality. many fo you dn't believ me when i said i've been a dap supporter and in other areas, pretty neutral except against maddy, wakakaka

    2. Why not saying u got caught & now act neutral to hide yr shame le!

      U MUST revisit what u have written so arrogantly self-righteousness (Sabah/Sarawak wrt MA63), hp6 insistent (GST) & many more.

      Perhaps u should confined yrself to Abrahamic faith bashing, which u ace. Just write in analogy like yr sifu now concentrating on twisting Melayu/Cina dichotomy using his favourite race, religion & education style of shit-stirring lah.


    3. where and for what was I ever caught?

      wakakaka stop fantasising lah

      I stand resolutely on what I wrote about Peninsular blood being shed for Sabah and Sarawak during Konfrontasi

    4. But u wrote as if there were no Sabahan/Sarawakian bloods being shed for Sabah and Sarawak during the Konfrontasi!

      Yr bloody arrogance directly implies that E M'SIANS were depending on the soldiers from P M'sia to defense their sovereign!!!

      Can u also stand resolutely that no E M'SIANS lost life in P M'SIA during the Insurgence?

      Can u stand resolutely about the role of the E M'SIAN soldiers during May13???

      Who r u to judge the role of Sabahan/Sarawakian in determine their own future?

      Double faced moron & yet Janus u r not!!!

    5. "as if" wakakaka

      but it doesn't matter what happened other than the fact that Peninsular blood was shed in defence of Sabah and Sarawak, and that secession is NOT permitted by the constitution

      none so blind as those who REFUSES to see

    6. U know the meaning lah. Don't USE semantics to prove yr wordsmith's 2 cent worth.

      Didn't I say Janus u r not??

      For u, after been proving wrong, still behaving liken to 死鸡撑饭盖——死顶,死都要顶!

      BTW, that secession is NOT permitted by the constitution???

      Then how did RedDot got secessed?

      Can Sabah/Sarawak orchestrates a similar kick-out-of-the-federation scheme like RedDot, to get their independence??

      Politic is an art of possibility! Apax2 pun bolih jadi.

      Thus, again, WHO's so blind as those who REFUSES to see le?

      Arrogant fool!!!

    7. you are so stupid and one of those Prof Khoo said does not know our history. Singapore did not secede but was kicked out.

      sure, sabah and sarawak can try to orchestrate a 'kick-out' and you can help them do that, wakakaka. what a moron

      and at least be respectful to me and other readers who do not know Chinese characters so stop writing in chinese - this is not a chinese character blog

    8. Stupid????

      U must have lost touch with yr wordsmith's skill le, wakakakaka..

      "BTW, that secession is NOT permitted by the constitution???

      Then how did RedDot got secessed?

      Can Sabah/Sarawak orchestrates a similar kick-out-of-the-federation scheme like RedDot, to get their independence??"

      Bolih baca dari awal sampai hujung ke??

      Or u pandai buat selective argument to suit yr bruised ego ke?

      Sabah and Sarawak can definitely try to orchestrate a 'kick-out' to overcome that 'mf' clause that secession is NOT permitted by the constitution.

      That clause IS not casted in stone le, tau tak? Like everything else in the world, apax2 pun bolih jadi jikalau ada niat dan moola.

      Many more Sabahans/Sarawakians r awakening to that possibility. Revisiting MA63 MUST be the beginning of that journey. Just u wait lah.

      What a moron, for u to showcase yr P M'sians' arrogance!!

      BTW, if u don't understand Chinese characters, that's yr banana problem.

      & I'm OCCASIONALLY using the Chinese phrases bcoz they can best convey the description of the situation w/o translational errors.

      U can either ask &/or google for the meaning.

      For those who know, they will appreciate the essence. For those who don't but try, they can get their own interpretations w/o blaming me. For those who don't, just consider it's liking to casting pearls before swine lah!

      BTW, I'm showing u respect for not writing the whole comments in Mandarin.

      I did mistakenly, sometimes ago, with CaoCao's thesis on governing a country during chaotic time. But, that's bcoz one just can't do justice with any translation for that article.

      Didn't u also use Greek, Jewish, Sanskrit, Arabic & anglicised phonic Penang Hokkien phrases in many of yr postings in yr not-a-Chinese-character blog??

      What man - u can play with bushfire while I can't lite a candle?

      If u r insisting in claiming this is yr blog, thus can do as u like. Then, form a choirboy club with membership ONLY lah. Just like yr sifu. Problem solved with fanboys cheering too, wakakakaka!

      Otherwise DO remember WWW is an open public space, no one can exercise sole admission right just bcoz he/she/it occupies a corner to sh*t.

      If u r doing whatsoever business in the WWW, then be prepared to face ALL types of encounter lah!

      This is the 1st rule of the WWW blogging mah.

      DON'T keep showing yr brazenly self-serving arrogance & yet foolishness le!!!

    9. wow, you're becoming a wordsmith too, but coming into someone's house and shouting away rudely

    10. A 'house' built with the understanding that it's open to all!

      So, WHO's been rude???