PM Najib Razak in Maldives: diplomacy or for pleasure?

  • The Malaysian PM and First Lady arrived in the Maldives on December 19, left on the 20th
  • Both parties signed four agreements during the visit
  • However, criticism has been directed towards the PM's twitter feed, with people calling the visit more of a leisurely one rather than an official one

K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 21-December-2017 | Thursday 06:58 | Shaaknee | Report | 2,794

PM Najib Razak smiles for a photo at the Izzudheen Jetty in the capital Malé City -- Photo by: Twitter

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was in the Maldives for around 24 hours this week, arriving here on Tuesday evening, at the invitation of President Abdulla Yameen.

During this trip, both leaders signed a total of four memoranda of understandings, as well as agreed to enhance exchanges in other sectors.

However, what caught the people’s eyes were the Prime Minister’s posts on twitter, which made him seem more like a tourist in the country.

His first tweet, in Bahasa Melayu, reads “just arrived for my official visit to the Maldives. Insya-Allah will increase cooperation in various fields including health tourism and higher education”. A photo of him walking away from the airplane with foreign minister Mohamed Asim and home minister Azleen Ahmed, who welcomed him at Velana International Airport, is attached to the tweet.

His second tweet spoke of how he had taken “a stroll amidst [his] hectic schedule, to enjoy the beauty of His creation,” with a photo attached of him standing on the beach, in possibly the resort he had stayed at during his one-day trip.

Prior to his departure from the capital Malé City after meeting with President Abdulla Yameen on Wednesday, Najib made sure to take a picture at the newly renovated Izzudheen Jetty (or the Presidential Jetty), captioning it “Masha-Allah, the beautiful earth of your creation”.

He next tweet reads “on the way to the airport to return home after meeting with the President of Maldives,” with yet another photo of him enjoying the island life, this time of him enjoying the ride to Velana International Airport on the presidential launch.

While the public criticized the Malaysian PM for acting more like a tourist on his official the Maldives, it is true that he did send out tweets regarding his various official businesses in Maldives; like how he was welcomed by President Yameen on Wednesday morning, the President’s official luncheon in honour of him and First Lady Rosmah Mahsor and how he “held a four-point meeting, with President Yameen ‘before bilateral talks between the delegates of both countries”.

Some may not see any issues over the tweets. However, if one compares them to his posts from other such official visits, it will be as clear as day.

For example, lets take a look at his last official trip before arriving in the Maldives. Najib was in Sri Lanka from 17th to 19th December, sending out tweet after the other. Except for one, the rest of the tweets were regarding his official businesses in the country.

The exception? Well, despite the busy schedule, even the Malaysian Prime Minister had to try Lanka’s famous Ministry of Crab.




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