Trump meeting with Malaysian prime minister under scrutiny

Najib There's more freedom in M'sia now

Prime Minister Najib Razak will visit the Oval Office for talks that the White House says will be focused on terrorism, trade and Asian maritime disputes.

The news was disclosed through the official page of the White House.

President Trump is set to meet with another foreign diplomat.

Mr Trump said he and Mr Najib are discussing large trade pacts and a deal involving Boeing jets.

Bernama reported the prime minister as saying this at a gathering with Malaysian students and Malaysians living in the United States, at the Malaysian Embassy in Washington, ahead of his first official meeting with President Trump later today.

The veteran prime minister faces allegations that billions were looted from a sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in complex overseas deals that are being investigated by authorities in several countries, including the United States.

"Look, we're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation being led by the Department of Justice", said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysians overseas should not be influenced by propaganda that Malaysia was a failed state.

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Senior opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said many Malaysians viewed Najib's White House visit as a "national humiliation and shame" as he is tainted by the 1MDB financial saga.

He will also meet the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

"The United States and Malaysia have had a 60-year relationship and partnership built on common economic and security interests, and that continues".

Flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence, Trump listened raptly as Najib described Malaysia's purchase of billions of dollars' worth of aircraft from Chicago-based Boeing.

"Not only is Mr Najib known for imprisoning peaceful opponents, silencing critical media and reversing Malaysia's progress toward democracy", the paper wrote. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Najib held a news conference with Malaysian reporters from inside the hotel, according to an Instagram account belonging to a member of parliament accompanying him on the trip, ThinkProgress reported.

'It's unfortunate but consistent with Trump's policy of downplaying democracy and human rights as an aspect of US policy, ' says Joshua Kurlantzick, senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council for Foreign Relations.

The U.S. Justice Department says people close to Najib stole billions of dollars, and the federal government is working to seize $1.7 billion it says was taken from the fund to buy assets in the U.S.

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