Fans line up for hours for a bite of Billion Dollar Whale

Christopher Rabin Bede Hong

Tom Wright with a fan at the signing of Billion Dollar Whale at a bookshop in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 25, 2018.

THE launch of the 1MDB tell-all Billion Dollar Whale in Kuala Lumpur today saw hundreds lining up to have their copies signed by Tom Wright, the co-author of the book chronicling the fund’s scandal and its central figure, businessman Low Taek Jho.

Patrons at the Kinokuniya book store in Suria KLCC began lining up from 2pm, long after shelves were cleared of some 200 hardcover and paperback copies.

Many fans took the book to be the unquestioned authority on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, with some hoping to shake hands with the man they believed shed light on the alleged siphoning off US$4.5 billion from the state investment fund. 

“I’ve been waiting for hours but this is important. Every Malaysian should read this and know the scandal which has rocked our country’s very financial standing,” said Ahmad Mahmud, 68, a retiree who joined the queue that extended outside the book store.

“I believe this book. They had intended to publish it anyway, whether the government changed or not and they had the best Wall Street Journal lawyers to verify it. I’m sure all accounts were squared before it was published.”

Wright, who co-authored the book with fellow WSJ journalist Bradley Hope, divided his time between signing books and speaking to the media and guests.

Tom Wright co-authored Billion Dollar Whale about the 1MDB scandal with Bradley Hope. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 25, 2018.

Khoo, 42, an industry services worker who waited until dusk to get his copy signed, took it in his stride.

“We are just trying to figure out what has happened. All we had for a long time on the 1MDB scandal were rumours and misinformation on the internet. So this is a long time coming.”

Yuke, 42, a lawyer and Sharman, 42, an engineer, both clutching their copies, called it “Malaysia’s most important” book. 

“It’s a relief to see this book out. It’s the biggest scandal ever to hit this country and we don’t know the entire story, even now,” said Yuke. 

“People just want to know the truth.”

The book, currently out of stock, is priced at RM129 for the hardcover and RM79 for the paperback version. – September 25, 2018.

The line of fans of Billion Dollar Whale snaking out of the bookshop at KLCC today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 25, 2018.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • Wow!! Didnt know so many people r willing to queue for this, bravo to Malaysians

    Posted 5 years ago by Angeline Yee · Reply

  • The crowd may hv increased by tenfold if jho low was there to co sign the copy

    Posted 5 years ago by Mohamed Zaimir · Reply

    • Could be better if sale done in Equanimity.

      Posted 5 years ago by Dr ShahAli Imram Ali · Reply

  • The Umno General Assembly will commence soon therefore somebody kindly open a store there to educate Umno members what foul leaders from Umno/BN had squandered peoples money and how billions got to be piled up at the L.Duta mansion..thanks to Commissioner Datuk Amar Singh PDRM Bukit Aman who discovered the 1MDB loot..thereby cogent proof of the autencity of investigations in Billion Dollar Whale..

    Posted 5 years ago by Dr ShahAli Imram Ali · Reply

  • I want Najib, the real author of the heist, to sign my copy, can ah? And Rosmah can co sign.

    Posted 5 years ago by Alphonz Jayaraman · Reply