Sarawak Report editor accuses WSJ journalists of stealing contacts

Clare Rewcastle-Brown at the launch of The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose in Petaling Jaya earlier this month. The Sarawak Report report editor is claiming credit for breaking the story of one of the country's largest financial scandals. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 26, 2018.

SARAWAK Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown today poured scorn on Billion Dollar Whale, saying she was the one who first broke the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal and gave them her contacts.

In a lengthy post on Sarawak Report, Rewcastle-Brown shared chapter 23 from her book, The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose, detailing exchanges between her, her sources and The Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Wright and Simon Clarke.

The excerpt, Rewcastle-Brown said, challenged the Billion Dollar Whale authors’ claim that “insiders in the 1MDB investigation approached them”. 

Rewcastle-Brown said when she received information about former prime minister Najib Razak’s alleged involvement in the scandal and a suspicious “US$680 million payment”, it was she who first approached Wright, saying he “had shown more interest in the 1MDB story than other papers, keeping in regular touch with me and reporting on the questions facing the fund”.

She also shared the information with the WSJ as she believed the story was “international dynamite” and needed “a major platform”. 

She gave Wright information about Xavier Justo, a key figure in the PetroSaudi offshoot of the 1MDB scandal, as well as put him in touch with her contacts.

She also detailed her exchanges with Clarke, saying she herself drove him to meet with her source in London to confirm the veracity of incriminating documents implicating Najib.

Tom Wright co-authored Billion Dollar Whale with his The Wall Street Journal colleague Bradley Hope. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 26, 2018.

However, once the WSJ report was published, unleashing havoc in the Malaysian political scene, both Wright and Clarke not only dismissed her pleas not to take action that would jeopardise her sources, but also failed to attribute any credit to her or her website for its work.

“I felt betrayed that they were deliberately cutting me, their key intermediary on the story, out completely. I had also noted that a promised credit for Sarawak Report had been dropped from their copy!” she said.

Billion Dollar Whale was released in Malaysia yesterday to much fanfare, with 200 hardcover and paperback copies sold out at Suria KLCC’s Kinokuniya bookstore. 

Wright, who was at the Kuala Lumpur launch, co-authored the book with fellow WSJ journalist Bradley Hope. – September 26, 2018.  

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  • We know who broke the story Clare! But its typical of journalists of low calibre to claim all the glory for themselves.

    Posted 5 years ago by Malaysia New hope · Reply

  • Whooaah like dat how can they win Pulitzer? Gone case

    Posted 5 years ago by Jubu Laza · Reply