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They ate my chocolates!

Chocolates bearing Najib's image at the Umno general assembly - Photograph: Malaysiakini

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JD Lovrenciear looks into the former prime minister’s apparent obsession with the chocolates in his refrigerator.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak was reported to have complained that some police personnel investigating his and his children’s dwellings had eaten some chocolates in the refrigerator.

His remarks sparked a public outcry over what many deemed to be un-Malaysian and miserly behaviour. The gist of some of these reactions was that the “Cash is King” man had been reduced to a Chocolate Miser.

On deeper reflection, it is baffling why Najib reacted in such a manner. What was his obsession? “They (the chocolates) were important to my client, who told me to include that in the statement,” his lawyer was reported to have said.

Najib of all people should have understood. Just a couple of months ago, he had related an anecdote at a dinner attended by hundreds of police and army officers:

“I want to share a story from last year when I was at the Penrinssen army camp and when the armed forces chief and the defence minister (Hishammuddin Hussein) said they regretted not providing me lunch.

“(After that) I had to get onto a helicopter and I ate all the chocolates in the helicopter.”

The chocolate connection goes back even further:

In February, netizens rained barbs in social media on hearing that Najib pampered himself with quinoa instead of rice for health reasons. “My problem is that I love food, like most Malaysians,” he had said then. “We love food. I have to control.”

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Many were thus incredulous that at a time when investigators were seizing heavy loads of hoarded hard currency, valuables, expensive designer handbags and an assortment of accessories from Najib and Rosmah’s and their children’s homes, Najib found it absolutely important to slam the police for allegedly having eaten some food and chocolates in the refrigerator.

It is a total embarrassment not only to the immediate next of kin of Najib, but it brings great shame to all those within Umno and the BN fold who at one time defended Najib and Rosmah tooth and nail even to the extent of pouring scorn and spite on citizens and opposition leaders.

Today, Najib’s crying over some missing chocolates stands in sharp contrast to the image of a man who once proclaimed that the Bugis warrior would defend his position and pride.

This chocolaty episode is not only mind-boggling but further erodes the public impression of this former leader. The fact is, upon hearing of his hurt over some missing chocolates, people would have been even more relieved that Najib lost badly in the general election.

Hopefully our new crop of leaders and budding political enthusiasts will remember that what lies deep and buried in our ‘being-ness’ will show up in the most vulnerable moment of our life.

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