SINGAPORE, Newly minted Malaysian Defence Minister, Mohamad Sabu or ‘Mat Sabu’ as he is fondly referred to, had a pleasant surprise upon his arrival in Singapore.
Firstly at Masjid Sultan, after attending Friday prayers, fellow Muslims both local and foreign greeted and requested to take photographs with him.
“That was a pleasant surprise. Didn’t think they would follow political developments in our country,” the minister was heard saying.
Mohamad arrived in the republic on Friday to attend the 17th edition of Asia’s premier defence summit, Shangri-La Dialogue.
He is also president of the Amanah Party, one of the component parties in Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) (PH). He was appointed defence Minister after PH won the mandate in the 14th general election last month, to govern the country.
Mat Sabu’s ‘fans’ freely shared their photographs with him in social media.
“Salam Jumaat. Haji Mohamad bin Sabu, commonly known as Mat Sabu by everyone, Minister of Defence of Malaysia at Masjid Sultan Singapore earlier. Such a simple man.
“A leader of the people, Alhamdulillah,” says one Facebook user, who happily shared his photograph with the minister.
The local public’s reception of Mat Sabu was also reported by Berita Harian Singapore.
The scenario was similar at Shangri La Hotel where the three-day dialogue is being held.
Mohamad was approached by participants and hotel staff alike for photographs.
“After dinner on Friday, we returned late to our rooms because we were obliging ‘fans’ who approached him at the hotel lobby,” according to one of the minister’s escorts.
Bernama was ‘unwittingly’ drawn into the scene with locally based foreign media friends asking whether the writer was going to interview the minister.
“Did you get an interview slot with him? What time? Can we join? Don’t worry, we won’t disturb your interview. We only want to take photographs.”
Those were among the requests Bernama received from media friends here.
Mohamad is scheduled to meet US Defence Secretary, James Mattis, and will return to Malaysia today.
Source: NAM News Network