Nooryana Najib To Her Dad: Please Come Back To Us Safely

This is the second year that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been unable to celebrate Father’s Day with his family since he was imprisoned on 23 August 2022. His daughter Nooryana was recently interviewed by a Malaysian Chinese daily. We publish here the translated article

Nooryana Najwa Najib sent a message to her father on this festival of gratitude: Although the family and Najib are separated, they are still closely connected by love and hope and continue to be inspired by his tenacious spirit.

“We love you, we miss you, we are with you, many people feel the same way, you will never be alone, please come back to us safely, we are all waiting for your return,” was her poignant message.

In conjunction with Father’s Day on Sunday, Nooryana recently gave an exclusive interview to China Press via video in Singapore, in which she recounted how she was inspired by her beloved father as she grew up.

the Interview Article on Nooryana Najib in the China Press Daily
The interview article on Nooryana Najib in the China Press daily

She shared that Najib was not always at home on Father’s Day in previous years. If he was at home, the celebration was very simple, which was to have lunch together as a family, as this was already a very precious thing.

She explained that before Najib became prime minister, he would often return to the Pekan constituency to attend events on weekends. Therefore, after becoming prime minister and having even busier official duties, it was very rare for him to be able to enjoy lunch with his family on weekends.

Nooryana’s Close Relationship With Her Dad

Nooryana said that she and Najib have a very close father-daughter relationship and when she visits him in prison, she would share many things with him, including the growth of her three children, as Najib always wanted to know about the lives of his grandchildren.

“When the Prime Minister comes home, he is the father,” Nooryana said that even though he was a national leader with heavy responsibilities, Najib was good at distinguishing his public and private roles as a father, and never brought work pressure home, so he rarely walked into the house upset.

“When he comes home, he leaves all the stress behind and when he comes home, he’s not a politician or a prime minister, he’s a dad and we laugh and joke and tease each other, even if it’s just for five or 10 minutes, that’s always the best part of our day.”

She noted that as she grew up, she saw her father play his role as a national leader and head of the family with passion, love and dedication.

“He cared for his people just as much as he cared for his children and his family, and I was lucky to have such a great role model growing up.”

Nooryana said Najib loved serving the people and often reminded his children to behave properly and take care of the family’s image during his tenure as prime minister, as the position of prime minister was a position of great responsibility.

She laughed and said that Najib has been the Umno Pekan MP since he was 23 years old. His family knew that he was very busy and they were used to him sacrificing a lot of time with his family. But even though he was busy with official duties, Najib was still very concerned about his children’s studies, careers and health.

“My father encouraged me to start from the bottom.”

Nooryana, who is also an executive committee member of the Umno Women’s Youth Wing and the head of the Lembah Pantai division, said Najib always encouraged her to spend as much time as possible to understand the grassroots, start from the bottom, do things steadily and step by step to rise up in the party.

She pointed out that looking back at Najib’s political career, even though he was elected as a Member of Parliament at the age of 23, his father also rose through the ranks in UMNO step by step, from being the Youth Chief of the Pekan division to serving as an executive committee member and Youth Chief of the UMNO Youth Wing, and finally becoming the party chairman.

“The connections you make with people (at the grassroots) will be pillars of support for you later on.”

She said that now she is studying with party comrades, improving her own weaknesses and building sisterhood in the process. She hopes that these sisters will become her pillars of support when she has the opportunity to be promoted to higher positions in the future.

She pointed out that she has always been interested in politics. She studied for a bachelor’s degree in international politics in college, and then studied for a master’s degree in business administration and public administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Kennedy School of Harvard University respectively.

After Najib was imprisoned, Nooryana decided to challenge herself to understand more about her father’s work. When she travelled around the country to campaign for the 15th General Election in 2022, she was inspired by hearing people share how they benefited from the policies implemented by Najib. This made her realise that her father had changed many people’s lives.

So, she finally decided to run in the UMNO party election in 2023.

“I am honored to be his daughter….”

As Najib’s daughter, Nooryana admitted that she was very lucky and honored. She witnessed the sacrifices made by her father, who was once a national leader, in his life and learned many valuable qualities from him, including how to have perseverance and patience.

She said she firmly believed that one day her father would be free and reunite with his family because Najib worked hard to stay healthy for his family.

“We look forward to the day when he can return home, healthy and well, to spend time with his family for many years to come.”

She pointed out that Najib has always been a family man, so he will suffer emotional pain from being separated from his family while serving his sentence in prison, but fortunately his father is a devout Muslim, and he can find comfort in learning more about Islam and having more time to pray.

“I think that’s where his strength comes from. Although he’s strong and optimistic, I know it’s still a challenge for him.” – NMH

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Carole Raymond Abdullah

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