YOURSAY | ‘The rakyat are well aware of the rent-a-crowd concept.’
OCT: There were no real investments brought back by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob - all he did was attend the Asean-US summit and observed some memorandum of understanding or letter of intent being signed.
The rakyat are well aware of the “rent-a-crowd” concept where a few ringgit, free meals and a goodie bag will get you a hero’s welcome. A real PM would do their work silently without fanfare, like Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
The PM did have some meetings with some big US corporations, but it’s all talk without any real commitment. It will be difficult for the business community there to understand his mixture of Bahasa Malaysia and English during these meetings.
This type of leader is always more interested in his image rather than doing an honest day’s work.
BobbyO: Looking at India’s victory in the Thomas Cup, it shows how far nations have gone forward. Today, nations like China, India, Singapore, Vietnam and even Indonesia have taken giant strides in improving the quality of life and income of their citizens.
Since former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure in leading the country, we have moved backwards.
Instead of finding ways to improve the nation, our leaders are busy trying to improve their own image by having these paid supporters show how popular they are. The nation’s reputation may be going down the drain, but they are more concerned about themselves.
How did the directors of a public-listed company get away with a mere slap on the wrist after they were accused of falsifying their accounts? What signal does that send to foreign investors?
Can the PM and his supporters explain what the working trip to the US, paid with taxpayers’ money, achieved? How many investment projects were signed? How many American investors are going to come to this nation?
We should be giving a hero’s welcome to a real hero. It looks like our citizens’ priorities are moving in the wrong direction.
Mazilamani: To begin with, there were other Asean leaders who had either group or personal meetings with US President Joe Biden. Did they, too, return to their homeland to a hero’s welcome?
It is in our interest to know what our PM discussed with Biden to improve diplomatic and trade relationships. Forced labour, human trafficking and other sensitive issues assailing our country are being reported back by the US Embassy to their government.
Who are the top US investors who have pledged to invest in Malaysia? What is the quantum of investors?
Who exactly were those who attended the hero’s welcome? Could they be politicians and businesspersons looking for favourable opportunities? How many were sincere welcomers?
I have no intention to degrade the PM’s trip to the US, but will it translate into long-term shared gains for the two countries?
We must be cautious of the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war that is affecting nations around the world. We are in an age where true international relationships are important.
Vijay47: I wonder how many countries in the world practise this ritual of welcoming politicians each time they return from abroad.
I wonder also how many leaders there are who are so insecure about themselves that they need this form of adulation to boost their confidence and public image.
It is understandable if the politician’s immediate team of assistants were present to see him through immigration and customs, lest there is a repeat of the comedy in Abu Dhabi.
But what sort of man would demand that government servants throng the airport to receive him? Is it part of the officers’ duties to display appropriate sycophancy to coincide with the politicians’ movements?
This is an occurrence we see only in third world countries, involving only half-past-six leaders.
Ismail Sabri’s visit to the US was to negotiate economic matters and to meet fellow Asean leaders, both of which would certainly be for a better recovery from the effects of Covid-19.
Nevertheless, they are common and par for the course, they are not trend-setting events setting the parties involved in new beneficial directions.
Having crowds at the airport would be acceptable if, say, the president of Ukraine returned to Kyiv after signing a peace treaty with Russia. But Ismail Sabri went to Washington (and came back with little to show).
Anonymous_3f4b: Indeed, what is there to gloat about after an official trip to the US for the Asean-US meet. Malaysia was not specifically invited; it was part of Asean.
By the way, what happened to his overtures to Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk to invest in Malaysia?
While Ismail Sabri is back, Jokowi has gone to Texas personally on Musk’s invitation to meet with the man himself who has targeted Indonesia as his next investment destination.
This is another loss for Malaysia, in which shaking hands, singing patriotic songs and holding banners will not help.
Ajinom****: The same happened everywhere when former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak appeared during a campaign event in a recent state election.
We all know what is happening. Money is being splashed. People went and shouted a few words. You can read the body language.