Malaysia PM Najib surprise guest at KL Internet event, reveals he plays Hangman on his mobile phone

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was a surprise guest at the start-up conference Wild Digital at the Le Meridien hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (June 9).
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was a surprise guest at the start-up conference Wild Digital at the Le Meridien hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (June 9).ST PHOTO: GRACE CHNG

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak was a surprise guest at the start-up conference Wild Digital held at the Le Meridien hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (June 9).

In a 30-minute fireside chat with Catcha Group chairman Patrick Grove, he shared his thoughts on the start-up development in Malaysia as well as his online activities.

Kicking off the chat, Mr Grove said that Malaysia has a thriving Internet economy which employs about 20,000 people in 1,000 start-ups.

"There are more Internet entrepreneurs in Malaysia than any country in South-east Asia," he said.

Datuk Najib said that the emergence of start-ups was due to the introduction of national broadband infrastructure which revolutionised the Internet sector.

He said: "In 2004, I was the Deputy Prime Minister. I convinced the Malaysian government to introduce high speed broadband. I chaired the Cabinet committee on this. Our target was to get to 50 per cent penetration by 2010. We exceeded that. Currently we have 70 per cent penetration. This helped to start the whole start-up revolution."

The fireside chat also revealed that Datuk Najib plays Hangman on his mobile phone when he has a few minutes to spare.

He also has an iTunes account. His favourite singers include Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder. He also likes music from the music label Motown which popularised soul music because "they have rhythm".