‘Whale’ author insists 1MDB report ‘completely independent’ of Sarawak Report

09-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Wall Street Journal staff Tom Wright today denied striking any deal with Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown on reportage of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal.

Wright who is also co-author of the bestselling Billion Dollar Whale that purports to chronicle Penang-born Low Taek Jho’s role in the sovereign investment fund scandal told a public forum here that he and Brown had never made any agreement to report the scandal simultaneously.

He also denied that his coverage of the 1MDB scandal compromised the safety of Rewcastle-Brown’s sources nor led to the arrest of several people as claimed.

“The answer is no, it’s not true. First of all our reporting processes are completely independent of Rewcastle-Brown’s reporting processes.

“There was no agreement between us as to how we should report together or anything like that,” he was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying during a programme at the Cooler Lumpur festival here.

Rewcastle-Brown has accused Wright and his WSJ colleague and Whale co-author Bradley Hope of not crediting her website after obtaining information from her sources concerning their investigative work.

Wright also responded to the Sarawak Report editor’s claim that he broke a promise after publishing documents incriminating former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“She may be referring to the documents we put up online regarding wire transfers that occurred into Najib’s accounts, and it is wholly untrue that it led to anybody’s arrest or put anyone in danger.”

Wright also commented on Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, after it was reported she would co-produce a movie based on his book, saying he had no issues with her involvement in the production.

Yeoh had previously stumped for the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Najib’s administration publicly in the run up to GE14, and has since been labelled an opportunist by some after praising the book and its expose.

“She supported BN in the past election because her family were MCA politicians, and lots of people were supporting BN in 2013, even Mahathir.” Wright said, the last referring to prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I’m not involved in Malaysia, I don’t follow the politics. I don’t have a skin in the game, so I don’t have a problem with this.”

Wright lashed out at Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, accusing Shafee of reading his book with his “eyes closed”.

This was after Shafee had said the book could potentially absolve and vindicate Najib of wrongdoing concerning funds related to 1MDB, after claiming to have already read it three times.

Wright said he disagreed with Shafee’s opinion of the book, quipping the latter failed to understand its contents.

“He said he read the book three times, but I feel like he read it three times with his eyes closed,” Wright was quoted saying.



Category: Malaysia

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