Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be meeting United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday September 12.
The visit will bring about many benefits to Malaysia and the rakyat.
Let us take a look at some of the benefits.
A recognition to Malaysia by a superpower
President Donald Trump’s invitation of Datuk Seri Najib’s is recognition by a superpower towards Malaysia.
The New Straits Times said on September 11 that this is testimony to Malaysia’s standing and position as a strategic partner to the US.
Malaysian ambassador to the US Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique said President Trump is only in his first year as president of the US and already he has invited Datuk Seri Najib.
Tan Sri Zulhasnan said the meeting is a golden opportunity for Malaysia to cement further cordial relations between the two countries for the benefit of the people of both countries.
Datuk Seri Najib’s visit to the White House will definitely boost the good ties and friendship already established between Malaysia and the United States for the past 60 years.
Sometimes you don’t need a special reason why you want to go to the US other than to strengthen your friendship.
It is understood that Datuk Seri Najib and President Trump are already good friends.
A visit among friends does not bring any harm except good ties.
The US after all is the world’s largest economy and a superpower nation.
Bilateral trade will firm up
Datuk Seri Najib’s visit to the US will without a doubt firm up bilateral trade between the two countries.
Remember, the US is the world’s largest economy and it does not bring Malaysia any benefit if we are not good friends with Washington.
The US is Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner and any positive developments in trade will augur well for the rakyat as it will provide jobs and help support the economy.
There are some 200,000 Malaysians working with American companies in Malaysia right now.
Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement on the way
Datuk Seri Najib said that since the Trans Pacific Partnership is off the table, a possible free trade agreement or FTA with the US is on the drawing board.
Speaking to reporters on September 8, Datuk Seri Najib said the meeting would be a great opportunity for Malaysia to establish a FTA with the US.
A FTA would be a great deal for Malaysia as many of our products can be exported to the US in greater amount and some of the import tax will be abolished.
In this way, more trade activities can take place and this will benefit our companies.
And when the companies do well, the rakyat will be rewarded.
Our ringgit will strengthen
A meeting such as this will definitely strengthen the ringgit as it will exude a feel good sentiment.
Already the ringgit is strengthening to RM4.20 level ever since it was announced that Datuk Seri Najib will meet President Trump.
This meeting will transmit to the international investors that everything is well in Malaysia.
Investors will only come to Malaysia when the sentiment is positive.
Investors hate uncertainty and this meeting between Datuk Seri Najib and Trump show that everything is all right.
The rakyat will receive the benefits because when the sentiment is positive, investors will come.
When investors invest, they will provide jobs for the rakyat.
Proof that Najib will not be arrested
The visit by Datuk Seri Najib is proof that he will not be arrested when he steps foot on US soil.
Despite claims by the opposition that the US Department of Justice will arrest Datuk Seri Najib, it is highly unlikely that will happen.
A state leader such as Trump as well as other state leaders must always protect his guest which he invited such as Datuk Seri Najib.
So the visit by Trump is a signal that all is well between the US and Malaysia.
The US recognising Datuk Seri Najib’s role in South East Asia
The fact that President Trump has invited Datuk Seri Najib shows that Malaysia recognise and appreciates Malaysia’s ever increasing role in South East Asia.
Professor Dr Azizuddin Mohd Sani told the New Straits Times on September 11 that Malaysia is playing a leading role in South East Asia and Trump is aware of that and wants to keep Datuk Seri Najib close to his chest.
This is evident when President Trump thanked Datuk Seri Najib during the rescue of US sailors who were killed in the collision between the US warship John Mccain and an oil tanker at the Straits of Malacca.
This recognition is a great honour for the rakyat as good relations with the US will open doors for many opportunities in the future.
Opposition should look at the bigger picture and not be narrow minded
The opposition should not politicise the meeting between the two leaders.
This is because the meeting transcends politics and self interests .
Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Fuad Othman said Malaysia-US ties are special due to longstanding cultural and economic links which transcends politics and geography.
So we should look at the bigger picture and not just focus on on one small issue.
Opposition should look at the bigger picture in terms of economics and regional security issues and not confine this to local politics.
In this case, the benefits of the meeting far outweigh the disadvantages.
Visa waiver programme
Another issue that could be looked into is the visa waiver programme.
Hopefully after this, Malaysians going to the US do not have to apply for visa.
This will facilitate travel tremendously and boost economic and social acitvoties between the two countries.
This include student tranfer programme, business activities and tourism activities.
If Malaysians are waived from applying visa, this would be a boost in economic growth for Malaysia.
Datuk Seri Najib to raise the Rohingya issue
Datuk Seri Najib is also expected to push for US support to end violence against the Rohingya vioelence in Myanmar when he meets President Trump.
This will be a feather in the cap for Malaysia who plays its role well as a peacekeeper in the South East Asian region such as in southern Thailand and southern Philippines.
This will demonstrate to the US that Malaysia is important in the South East Asia region and that good relations between the two countries should be enhanced and maintained permanently.
Security in Asean will be enhanced
The meeting between the two leaders is important as it will ensure security in the Asean region is enhanced.
This is because is also a target by the IS, Islamic extremists as well as possible high tension in the South China sea.
Boosting friendship with the US will ensure security and peace in the region for the benefit of all Asean as well as the rakyat.