Bouquet for makeover
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (third from right) and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (wearing songkok) checking out the revamped New Straits Times packed with 3-D features. With them are (from left) NST group editor Datuk Syed Nadzri Syed Harun, NSTP chief operating officer Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, NST chief executive officer Datuk Anthony Bujang, NSTP group managing editor Abdul Jalil Hamid and Media Prima Berhad news and editorial operations executive director Datuk Ahmad A. Talib.
The prime minister was to chair his cabinet meeting but we managed to get a few minutes to show him the new New Straits Times.
By the time Abdul Jalil Hamid, Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, Anthony Bujang and I caught up with Syed, he was already in the waiting room on the fifth floor of the PM Complex cool and relaxed.
But there was a trace of anxiety in his voice, just like the rest of us! When told that the PM had agreed to see us for a few minutes, the butterflies in our tummies started fluttering.
When we walked into his room, the PM was all smiles. After a round of handshakes, we moved on to a long table at another corner of his room.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also joined us as we gathered round to show the two leaders the new paper.
Out came the 3-D spectacles! Yes, we told the man the special glasses were issued with each copy of the NST to enable readers to see the full impact of the 3-D advertisements.
The prime minister was all questions, scrutinising the paper as he flipped through the pages. “If you’re looking for your picture and story, they’re on page 6,” one of us told him.
(Can’t remember who said that because at one point, everyone was speaking at the same time!)
As we walked him through the newspaper, colleagues from the Photo Unit were busy recording the encounter on stills and video.
Several of the prime minister’s aides were in the room, probably amused at the lively exchanges at the long table.
Jalil and I had planned to persuade Najib to say a few words on one of our mobile phones. Right on cue, just before the session ended, I whipped out Steve Jobs iPhone 4 and proceeded to record the PM’s short remark congratulating us on the makeover.
We had a group photograph taken just before leaving.
The prime minister was also fully aware that he was flanked by two Liverpool supporters, a Chelsea fanatic and two MU diehards.
Be that as it may, we’re all one united front, never to walk alone, insyaAllah!