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Malaysian fan pays over RM2,000 to meet Trump

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SINGAPORE — A Donald Trump fan from across the Causeway forked out S$765 (RM2,289) to put up at Shangri-La hotel for one night just so he could get a chance to meet the US president in person.

But after checking into his hotel room on Monday afternoon and hanging around the hotel lobby for a glimpse of Trump, all Maharaj Mohan got for his trouble was a selfie with The Beast yesterday morning.

Showing off the photo he had taken with Trump’s iconic state limousine — a 9,000kg bullet and bomb-proof Cadillac — the 25-year-old consultant said he knew he had a one per cent chance of pulling the feat off.

Staying in the hotel wing adjacent to Trump, Maharaj had been stationed at the hotel lobby since 6.30am yesterday to track the president’s movements. On Monday, he had stood in the lobby for five hours, in a vain attempt to get the president’s signature on his number one bestseller Trump: The Art Of The Deal.

All he managed to catch was a glimpse of the man at about 8am yesterday when he left the hotel for the summit in Capella hotel on Sentosa.

But braving the two-hour Causeway jam and ponying up S$765 (RM2,289) for the hotel room was still well worth it, Maharaj said. “S$765 is a big sum, more than RM2,000 in ringgit. But it is not too much to meet the president,” he added.

He had called on some of his friends and family members to join him on his endeavour to chase down the president, but none were keen. “It is lonely being a Trump supporter in Malaysia,” he said.

Still, he was stoked that during his stay, he had managed to run into US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House press secretary Sandra Huckabee Sanders twice at the hotel lobby.

“Everyone told me there is zero chance, one per cent chance (of catching Mr Trump) even being within 20km radius of the president … But who knows? Sometimes the impossible can happen,” Maharaj said when interviewed at his father’s consultancy and training firm.

Explaining his admiration for Trump which got him “a lot of hate”, Maharaj said the American first caught his eye in 2007 when he won a “battle of the billionaires” in the World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) WrestleMania.

Later, he read up more about Trump’s leadership style and respected him even more, especially “how he closes deals”, he said, gesturing to the book in his hands.

“He does not waste time. He just goes in and out of meetings, phone calls, and goes straight to the point. He does not beat around the bush (like other politicians and world leaders) … Trump goes straight to the point, solves it and closes the deal.”

“Tuesday’s (yesterday’s) summit would be another demonstration of that.”

“I hope Mr Trump closes his deal and brokers peace between the Koreas and the world basically, so Mr Kim doesn’t proliferate nuclear weapons and all,” said Maharaj. — Today