We didn’t see Najib in Langkawi

Ex-PM and entourage practically arrived in Langkawi at the same time as my merry band of adventurer

Pic By TMR File

Rain, cold and unremitting, falling on my hat like a constant drumbeat is the last thing I want to feel on a Langkawi morning.

My family and I are on paradise island, the nexus of beach, adventure and legend.

There are endless possibilities of things to do here. I could be out there being scared silly on a swaying cable car on Mat Cincang, perusing Mahsuri’s grave at Padang Matsirat or even comparing prices for authentic melamine tableware in Kuah.

The rented Avanza, which spits black smoke and whose brakes inspire me not to drive any faster than 80kph, sits in the rain like a faithful buffalo ready to take us on any adventure we desire.

But this blustery morning I’m sitting on the porch of my cheap bed-and-breakfast (B&B) skimming the Internet because the family is still having a lie in.

For us, a Langkawi sojourn is our annual “overseas” trip. The obligatory trip to Kuah for duty-free chocolates and kitchenware is our equivalent of some other people’s holidays in Los Angeles.

When it comes to holidays, cheap and cheerful works for me.

Rich and famous people may bask in the cachet of Bijan’s boutique on Rodeo Drive, our little band is more than satisfied with the offerings at the Haji Ismail Group Emporium.

And every morning when we can find parking on Cenang Beach’s wild west anarchic street-system (that is, the onetime), we lovingly savour each morsel of our RM10 nasi lemak bungkus.

Of course, being sophisticated visitors, as opposed to dilettantes and tourists, we immerse ourselves in the local culture —  watching fire-eaters on the beach dancing to Bob Marley at night.

But this morning, these usual fun activities are on hold because soon after we arrived the day before, the sunny hot weather that had bathed Mahsuri’s island for the past three months evaporated with a thunderstorm that has refused to go away.

So while sitting on the porch, friends text me that Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and entourage practically arrived in Langkawi at the same time as my merry band of adventurers.

Can’t wait to tell the family so that maybe we run into the ex-prime minister (PM) and maybe take a selfie with him. We’re not averse to notoriety.

Texted back friends telling them I didn’t see Najib at the Warisan Duty-free up Kuah or the new Haji Ismail Group complex yesterday. I also didn’t see any of them at the allyou- can-eat Italian shop on Cenang beach or the Laksa places by the Langkawi airport up at Padang Matsirat where you can eat the fiery soup and watch planes take off and landing all day.

My No 3 daughter has woken up, and drily tells me that maybe we’re not running into Najib because we are staying at a B&B on Cenang and he is staying at St Regis on the other side of the island.

She also reminded me that we could go and stay there once in a while.

I usually prefer not to contradict a teenager who has just woken up, but the rain and wind have made me wiser.

“Yes dear, we’re not at swanky St Regis with its view of pristine white beaches and butlers, where even if we stayed there ,they’ll constantly ask me whether I’m a guest,” I said.

“But thank your stars, young lady, that we’re also not constantly looking over our shoulders waiting for a knock on the door from those darn graft buster guys.”

I wanted to end the conversation while I’m morally winning and looked at the time to see if its lunchtime already, but the watch I bought at the emporium yesterday had stopped working.


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