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SANDAKAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's walkabouts at the Taman Mawar market and Bandar Kim Fung here today which lasted more than two hours was eagerly welcomed by the locals there including business people and customers.
People of various races, young, old and children could not hold back wanting to shake hands with the prime minister as soon he arrived with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman for the walkabouts.
Some of the traders at the market even left their premises to be able to take photographs with him as the walkabouts presented them a rare opportunity to meet the prime minister in person.
"This is the first time I am meeting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. He is also the first Malaysian prime minister to visit this market. I am very happy to meet him. He was also very gracious and allowed me to take a photograph with him.
"PM said "I give you two minutes, take the shot quickly", I did just that. I will enlarge the picture and have it framed before displaying in my shop," Wong Yuen Fah, a trader at the market, told Bernama.
Wong, 41, said she hoped Najib would continue to strive to bring about more development so that the people could lead even better lives.
Meanwhile, Tung Chan Wun, 56, a "cakui" and "campiang trader", could not suppress his happiness when Najib stopped by his stall and observed him preparing dough for the two local breakfast favourites.
"He asked me how to prepare the dough so that the "chakui" will expand when fried. He also helped me fry "chakui". I am very happy because this is the first time I come face to face with him. He is a good man, he wanted to stop by at my stall," said Tung, who has been trading at the Bandar Kim Fung market since 27 years ago.
When Najib sat with senior citizens Liew Min Shiong, 77, and Ngo Nyuk Han, 74, they managed to slip in a complaint that they had yet to receive their monthly welfare aid of RM300 since three months ago from the Sabah Welfare Department.
"Many among us have not received the aid since November last year. I hope the problem can be overcome," said Liew, who admitted that he was ecstatic at meeting Najib, and upon receiving the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) of RM500.
At the Taman Mawar market, a senior citizen, Cho Kiew Moi, 80, was thrilled to have the opportunity join Najib for breakfast.
"He is a very hardworking person and truly a people's leader. I consider myself fortunate to be able to meet and have breakfast with him," he said.
Ng Siu Ha, 62, a hawker, said he never expected Najib to come to the market and described the visit as a momentous one for him as he got to meet the number one leader of the country in person. -- BERNAMA