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Sunday, December 15th, 2019

I won’t meddle, says Najib

by August 23, 2016 General

PETALING JAYA: Instead of harassing his successor, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) may be out in his garden pulling out the weeds or catching a football game on TV.

During a candid dialogue with student leaders last week, the Prime Minister said that he might be involved in such pastimes when he retires.

He will not be harassing his successor who becomes the next prime minister on how to run the country.

“Maybe I will do gardening or go watch a Manchester United football match. There are many things to do. Travel … or even write a book. But why should I disturb my successor?” he told the audience during the Aug 18 event.

The full transcript of the dialogue, which involved student leaders who were part of a Kembara Mahasiswa Nasional programme, was made available on the Prime Minister’s official blog yesterday.

Najib spoke openly about the pressures of being in office and the comparisons he faces with the country’s former leaders.

In cynical reference to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Najib commented that he would never attack his successor openly when he retires.

“If my successor invites me for coffee or dinner, I will go. I will speak to him, advise him if needed. But I will not rebuke him openly. To me, that is not the right thing to do,” he added.

Najib said that the country’s prime ministers belonged to a “select club” and should be helping one another.

“Only then will people respect our country and respect its leaders. But if we criticise, that’s not fair, because in other countries like the United States, this does not happen,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that the only way a country’s administration could run smoothly is if its former leaders stopped meddling in its affairs.

On a separate matter, Najib sent a “get well” message to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after he was taken ill while delivering his speech during the republic’s National Day rally on Sunday.

The two leaders recently met in Putrajaya over the High Speed Rail project between Singapore and Malaysia.

“Heard that you’re not feeling well. I hope you’re all right. Get well soon,” Najib wrote on Twitter.

In his reply at about 2am yesterday, Lee thanked Najib for his good wishes.

“My doctors tell me I should be OK,” he wrote.

Lee, 64, was speaking when he was suddenly taken ill and the rally had to be suspended. He was helped off the stage by several ministers. He later resumed his speech.