Najib meets PM during private trip

Najib meets PM during private trip

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak flew to Thailand on a private trip to meet his Thai counterpart, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, and take a rest during the New Year’s holiday.

A source close to Gen Prayut said on Tuesday that the Malaysian prime minister and his wife made a private visit to Thailand on Jan 2. They went shopping, played golf and stayed overnight at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok.

During the visit, the Malaysian prime minister had lunch with Gen Prayut and held informal talks for about 90 minutes at the general's Kesakomol residence.

As Malaysia serves as chair of Asean this year, Mr Najib had discussed Asean-cooperation issues with Gen Prayut, who pledged full support to Malaysia, said the source.

The two leaders did not focus on the southern unrest during their meeting, although problems regarding dual citizens and Malaysian vans crossing the border to Thailand were discussed. There was little discussion on the peace talks to end the southern rest.

Though it was a private trip to Thailand, Mr Najib, who is under scrutiny by Malaysians amid a barrage of criticism for playing golf with US President Barack Obama in Hawaii during flooding in his country, had to discuss work with Gen Prayut, said the source.

"'The Malaysian prime minister had to tweet that he had lunch with Gen Prayut to thank Thailand for donating 500 tonnes of rice to help flood-hit Malaysian victims and to exchange views on flood solving and restoration. This is seen as trying to avoid criticism about his trip. Thailand did not disclose news about his visit for etiquette reasons as he went to holiday here'' said the source.

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