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New PM hits the ground with personal touch

By Monday April 6th, 2009 No Comments

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak went down to the ground to meet the people yesterday.

Clad in casual khaki attire, Najib spent over two hours visiting Petaling Street, also known as KL’s Chinatown, the predominantly Malay area of Vista Angkasa near Kampung Kerinchi, and then Brickfields with its Indian-majority community.

He arrived at Jalan Petaling’s main gate in the Prime Minister’s silver Proton Perdana with plate number WRP 11 accompanied by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail.

As soon as he stepped out of the car, he was surrounded by a mass of photographers and police officers holding back the crowd to give him room to walk. He was surprised by the reception.

“I wanted this to be an unofficial and surprise visit. I told Zulhasnan that I did not want a red carpet welcome with bunga manggar,” Najib told the residents.

“My visit is to meet ordinary people to know about their problems,” he added.

The Prime Minister strolled along the popular tourist spot with the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association deputy chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.

He spoke to watch and bag dealers and fruit sellers. Onlookers clapped when they spotted him chatting with the traders. Locals and tourists whipped out their handphones to take pictures of Malaysia’s new Prime Minister.

At about 4pm, he went to Kampung Kerinchi and spoke to hawkers there. It was learnt that he pledged allocations to fix faulty facilities such as lifts in the area and also to give the buildings a fresh coat of paint. It began to drizzle in Brickfields minutes after Najib arrived.

He stopped to say “hi” to eight-month-old Jiviteran Chandaramohan.

Parents Chadaramohan Kanapathi, 40, and Ravita Pakrisamy, 38, from Segambut felt very happy and hoped the country will be “good, peaceful and without any racial problems” under Najib’s leadership.

He ended his short tour in Sri Kortumalai Pillayar restaurant where he had a banana leaf meal and tea with Zulhasnan, his deputy Datuk M. Saravanan and Ahmad Fuad.

Restaurant owner S. Paramasivam said he served the Prime Minister and his entourage putu mayam pudina, dosai, vadae, teh ‘o’ ais limau, teh tarik (kurang manis), apples, oranges and grapes.

Just before 5pm and without speaking to the gathered press, Najib ended his first turun padang (meeting the grassroots) visit as Prime Minister and returned to his official residence in Putrajaya.

Source : The Star

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