"Tastes Like Heaven, Smells Like Hell", Najib Delights Apec Audience With Durian Story

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DANANG, Vietnam: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak scored a ‘perfect 10’ with a "flawless" durian story as he kicked off his participation at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit here on Friday.

Najib shared a tale of how our King of Fruits has shot to international stardom, at least among the people of China, to illustrate how globalisation offering market access has greatly benefited Malaysia.

"Durian is our form of caviar. It tastes like heaven, smells like hell," he remarked, drawing laughter and applause from the audience at the Apec CEO Summit in this coastal city.

Najib said durian used to sell for about RM4-RM5 per kilogram, but has become a big hit with buyers in China who are now willing to pay more than RM130 per kg.

"China loves durian more than any other country," he added.

Najib began his first day at the summit by spending about one hour fielding questions from CNBC anchor Nancy Hungerford.

Sharing the stage with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neil at the CEO Summit, Najib answered questions ranging from globalisation, Apec and the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Malaysia’s Vision 2020, the US changing its tone towards China, North Korea’s nuclear threat and terrorism.

Najib spoke favourably about globalisation, pointing out that it would equalise the playing field, making it fairer, particularly for small and medium enterprises to compete internationally.