Najib Razak’s new sport; More time and more fun

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You need only follow Najib Razak on Twitter or Facebook to know that he has not been idle or inactive. Instead, you could say he is taking full advantage of his Twitter following of four million. One cannot help but be entertained at his positivity and his tongue-in-cheek comments about statements issued by the current government’s ministers and political leaders.

A lot has changed for Malaysia since nine May 2018. Malaysians had elected a new government and many transformations have taken place. Suddenly, Malaysia has the world’s oldest chief executive in Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and its former incumbent Najib Razak is now seated on the opposition bloc of the government in the Malaysian parliament. To say that change is constant in politics would be an understatement.

However, Malaysia’s sixth prime minister did not just let himself drop from the radar of the Malaysian’s public attention. His current court cases has him dominating much of the mainstream news and the people’s conversations. Rather than trying to keep a low profile, Najib Razak, currently an opposition member of parliament for the very first time in his life, has been taking to social media like Facebook and Twitter to stay updated and relevant with the new Malaysia’s progress. Embracing the new Pakatan Harapan coalition government’s mature politics of open criticism and exchange of opinions, you could say that he is enjoying what his new role and job is affording him.

Najib Razak put his sentimental side on display on Twitter with the picture of him seated next to his mother, Rahah Noah, widow of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Abdul Razak Hussein. The caption read “With mummy” and an emoji of a love right next to it. Hardly anyone dared argue or criticize such an entry on social media out of great respect for Abdul Razak’s widow and their own mothers for that matter.

Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) tweeted at 7:55 pm on Sun, Jul 22, 2018:
With mummy https://t.co/vfj03W830p
(https://twitter.com/NajibRazak/status/1021000706319237122?s=03)

Then there were his reunions with old friends, comrades from UMNO that have stayed true and loyal to him even after his great defeat during the last general elections. Sadder still were his attendance at the funeral wakes of some of these UMNO stalwarts who had worked alongside him in the past. Among such a person was Abu Hassan Omar, the former chief minister of Selangor.

Of happier and more entertaining note were his entries that highlighted his love for food. There were his childhood favourite food of freshwater fish dishes which are synonymous with his hometown state of Pahang in the east coast. Fish like Patin and Kelah, especially those that are caught from the streams within the jungles of Pahang are considered a great delicacy and its popularity is reflected in their prices. But all Malaysians understand the craving for good food and so understood to a certain extent the pleasure of dining on a favourite dish. Najib Razak also shared his love for banana leaf rice at a famous Indian restaurant as well as the chinese bun “pau”.

With the case of the “pau”, he took issue with the receipt as it displayed the Sales and Service Tax, clearly a bane of contention of his with the current Pakatan Harapan government, and in particular, Lim Guan Eng who is the Finance Minister.

Najib Razak did not pass up a chance to insinuate through a sarcastic remark on Twitter on third September 2018 how the whole country, from the Prime Minister to the lay person were shocked when the Penang High court acquitted Lim Guan Eng, then chief minister of Penang of a graft charge over an alleged conversion of land status and purchase of a bungalow below market value. That Twit of his was a sure winner among many Malaysians who are Twitter-active.

Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) tweeted at 7:52 pm on Mon, Sep 03, 2018:
Hari ini hari apa? Hari Terkejut?
(https://twitter.com/NajibRazak/status/1036582612330995713?s=03)

It must be said that Malaysians appreciate how their political leaders can now openly and directly address their criticism of each other through arguments articulated without stoking sensitive issues. It is a sign of a more mature politics and freedom. That being said, Najib Razak must be allowed to share his more personal and human side.