All Malaysian will share my feeling when reading Clare Rewcastle-Brown and Tom Wright/Bradley Hope’s two books on the 1MDB scandal that the more you read and angrier you become as the 1MDB scandal is even worse than what one had thought
The 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 had not just achieved the peaceful, democratic and historic result of changing the Federal Government for the first time in the nation’s 61-year history, it had changed Malaysia in many ways.
For one, two books this week on the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal would have been banned in Malaysia and Malaysians would have to get them overseas and smuggle them into country to share the sordid tales of crime and corruption of powerful people in Malaysia!
The two books are Clare Rewcastle Brown’s “The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose” and Wall Street Journal’s two award-winning journalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope’s “Billion Dollar Whale”.
The first print run of 5,000 copies of Sarawak Report editor Clare’s book chronicling the 1MDB scandal has been completely sold out in less than a week.
I do not know the number of the first print run of Tom Wright and Bradley Hope’s “Billion Dollar Whale”, but I expect it to be selling like hot cakes like Clare’s book when they are available in the bookshops next week.
Why “Billion Dollar Whale”? Is it because of 1MDB mastermind Jho Low’s size and appearance as I originally thought.
The answer is provided in Page 3 of the book:
“Casino operators and nightclubs refer to their highest rollers as ‘whales’, and one thing was certain about Low : He was the most extravagant whale that Vegas, New York and St. Tropez had seen in a long time – maybe ever”.
Jho Low stayed at the most opulent “”Chairman Suites” at Palazzo in Las Vegas, priced at US$25,000 per night. For his 31st birthday celebration in November 2012, he splashed millions of US dollars to host a circus-themed extravaganza that would go down in Las Vegas lore as the most expensive private party ever held featuring an indoor Ferris wheel, circus performers, and a who’s who of Hollywood – not to mention Britney Spears emerging from a fake birthday cake and the attendance of all of Low’s contacts, including stars like Leonardo DiCaprio. Spears reportedly took a six-figure sum for her brief cameo. Psy, the South Korean singer who had shot to stardom that year for “Gangnam Style”, was there to provide a live performance.
The book said: “Almost everyone who had played a role in facilitating Low’s triump was on hand to celebrate with him. Low arranged for every aspect of the event to be paid from the 1MDB bonds, and the amounts were staggering. For an evening work, Swizz Beatz, Low’s producer friend and husband of Alicia Keys, received US$800,000 from a shell company funded from the stolen money.”
The book said: ”Even today, the scale of what he achieved – the global heists he pulled off, allowing him to pay for that night’s party and much, much more – is hard to fathom.
“Low might have hailed from Malaysia, but his was a twenty-first century global scheme. His conspirators came from the world’s wealthiest 0.1 per cent, the richest of the rich, or people who aspired to enter its ranks.”
The more I read the two books, the angrier I became. In fact, I believe that all Malaysian will share my feeling when reading Clare Rewcastle-Brown and Tom Wright/Bradley Hope’s two books on the 1MDB scandal that the more you read and angrier you become, at how tens of billions of Malaysian ringgit and the future of the present and future generations of Malaysians could be so easily and irresponsibly stolen and pawned away!
It is indeed the heist of the rights and future of Malaysians!
I thought I had known more than ordinary Malaysians about the criminality and moral turpitude of the 1MDB scandal, but I was completely floored by the scale and scope of the immorality and brazenness of the two protagonists of the 1MDB scandal which transformed Malaysia into a global kleptocracy – the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the real operator of 1MDB, Jho Low.
Former US Ambassador to Malaysia, John Mallot, is right – the 1MDB scandal is even worse than what one had thought.
As John Mallot wrote in his recent article on “Billion Dollar Whale”:
The authors describe in great and fascinating detail how Jho Low, with Najib's connivance, was able to steal over US$5 billion from 1MDB - and therefore from the Malaysian people. Jho Low put Malaysia on the map, but for all the wrong reasons.
“”The Najib in this book is incompetent and uncaring and doesn't care to learn the details - as long as he gets money for his political purposes, and as long as his wife, Rosmah, is happy and gets what she wants. He knew Jho Low was stealing, but he didn't know how much. As for Rosmah, what mattered most was the millions of dollars worth of Birkin bags and jewellery, funded by money stolen from 1MDB.”
John Mallot rigthtly pointed out: “The authors talk about Imelda Marcos and the 1,100 pairs of shoes that were found after Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown in the Philippines.
“But even if each pair of shoes was worth US$1,000, that still is only a million dollars. The Malaysian police say that all the ‘loot’ confiscated from the Najib family home and condos added up to US$273 million.”
I came away with two conclusions from the two books on the 1MDB scandal.
Firstly, those who claim that the 1MDB is fake news, an elaborate international conspiracy to topple a freely-elected Prime Minister in Malaysia should just read these two books.
Secondly, how could the political and government leaders in the Najib government, whether Ministers, Members of Parliament, top government officials or UMNO/MCA/MIC/Gerakan/Barisan Nasional leaders at all levels, from national to state to local, be so blind to the criminality and moral turpitude in the 1MDB scandal committed since 2009.
All of them are guilty of aiding and abetting Najib in the crime and corruption of the 1MDB scandal, and should apologise and repent for their betrayal of the nation and people by their silence and inaction – and the least they should do is to withdraw from public office for they have proved unworthy leaders of the Malaysian people and nation.
This includes all MCA/UMNIO/MIC leaders who had been Ministers or Deputy Ministers in the Najib government.
Every political activist, in fact every Malaysian concerned about Malaysia’s future, should get a copy of these two books, for what happened in the 1MDB scandal must never be allowed to happen again.
Clare Rewcastle Brown and Tom Wright/Bradey Hope should get their 1MDB books translated into Malay, Chinese and Tamil so as to reach a maximum readership in Malaysia.
Malaysia cannot afford to have another Najib and Jho Low.