Book, film on 1MDB scandal in the works

The Malaysian Insight

Protesters with posters of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and ‘who is Malaysian Official No. 1?’ at the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur on August 27, 2016. They are demanding the arrest of an unnamed Malaysian official no. 1 (MO1) in the US Department of Justice’s investigation of billions of assets bought with funds allegedly stolen from 1MDB. – May 30, 2017.

THE 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal is not going away. A book and film on the scandal-hit Malaysian investor, which piled up debts of nearly RM42 billion and money being siphoned off, are in the works by two different groups.

Among those to be named in the book and documentary include Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was 1MDB advisory board chairman, businessman Low Taek Jho better known as Jho Low, former chief executives Shahrol Halmi, Hazem Abdul Rahman and current 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Others include Saudi Arabia’s PetroSaudi director Tarek Obaid and Abu Dhabi duo Khadem Al Qubaisi and Mohammed Al Husseiny, who are executives of Aabar, which partnered 1MDB in several ventures.

The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) Tom Wright, who broke many reports on 1MDB, has been on leave since last year to complete the book which he promises will have “lots of revelations”.

A British production house, Salt Lick Films, began production of a documentary on 1MDB two years ago and has gone into a co-production deal with another company, Roast Beef Productions, with a 2017 premiere deadline.

It is not known if Sarawak Report editor Claire Rewcastle-Brown is involved in the documentary but she reported the production works last March in her portal, which has run exposes on 1MDB since 2015.

Sources said the documentary producers have interviewed a number of opposition leaders and activists about the 1MDB scandal that first broke when the state firm missed its bond payments.

Opposition politicians Tony Pua from DAP and Rafizi Ramli from PKR were among the first to expose 1MDB’s debts before they caught the attention of Sarawak Report and the WSJ.

WSJ won the Scoop Award in the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards 2016 with its “Malaysia 1MDB scandal” report, which launched international investigations into the Malaysian state investor as well global media coverage.

Wright, who is WSJ Asian edition economics editor, won SOPA’s Journalist of the Year Award 2016. 

The 1MDB expose also made WSJ a finalist in the International Reporting Category of the Pulitzer Prize in the United States, which is one of a few authorities investigating the 1MDB money trail.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a suit in July 2016 seeking to seize about US$1 billion (RM4.4 billion) of assets bought with funds allegedly stolen from 1MDB, making it the largest case under its kleptocracy asset recovery initiative (KARI).

The 1MDB case is seen as the kleptocracy unit’s largest asset seizure which the American prosecutors detailed multiple globe-circling financial transactions in a 136-page complaint. The case is still pending.

Authorities in neighbouring Singapore have also initiated several cases related to 1MDB, including charging Singaporeans with offences related to the firm. A foreigner has also been charged in the city-state’s probe into 1MDB. – May 30, 2017.

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  • The Sarawak Report may be involved in the book and film.

    Posted 7 years ago by Joe Fernandez · Reply

  • Better for all these guys involved in 1MDb to commit suicide except for MO1 and Jho Low who should be water boarded first before being thrown off the cliff...

    Posted 6 years ago by John Sleven · Reply