Hunting for high-living, party-loving former Najib’s PR chief.
- Helmed the Malaysian operations of controversial PR company Apco which was reportedly paid a whopping RM77 million to manage Najib’s and Malaysia’s image internationally in 2009
- Apco’s contract renewed in 2010 amid public outcry
- Stadlen was paid millions of ringgit to advise the Najib administration
- Has PR status in Malaysia, a lavish lifestyle
- A party animal surrounded by scantily-clad beauties
- Last known to live at the Loft Sentral Condo near KL Sentral
- Disappeared after GE14
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is seeking the help of the public to locate a British man to help in the investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The public who have any information on Paul Geoffrey Stadlen, who has permanent resident status in Malaysia, can contact enforcement officer Zuhaila Arip at 03-8870 0364 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or enforcement officer Fahmee Mohd Nor at 03-8870 0419 or via email at email@example.com.
Stadlen, had at one time, headed the Kuala Lumpur branch of communication consultant firm Apco Worldwide, and was said to have also served in the communication team in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Apco Malaysia is said to be the PR company that managed Najib’s past publicity campaigns, including international advertorials and news slots meant to boost the former prime minister’s global standing.
Apco came under intense scrutiny when it was revealed that the PR firm was paid a huge amount to promote campaigns by the government, including Najib’s 1Malaysia initiative.
In 2009, the then BN government reportedly paid Apco a whopping RM77 million to manage Malaysia’s image internationally. The contract was reportedly renewed in 2010 amid public outcry.
The controversial company, which was also hired by ruling politicians in Israel and India, was eventually dismissed from its role, although it was said that Stadlen managed to retain a lucrative contract with the former government.
After his role in Apco, Stadlen worked with FBC Media, a lobby group linked to a vicious online campaign against Anwar by the discredited US blogger Josh Trevino and his company, Rogue Communications.
In 2011, Sarawak Report exposed that FBC Media had won contracts worth RM84 million and RM15 million from the PMO and the Sarawak government to promote Najib and then Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud as well as various government projects to UK and US news stations such as BBC, CNBC and CNN.
This was in violation of those countries’ broadcast laws, and after the exposé, the broadcasters’ axed their contracts with FBC Media.
Stadlen then moved to work directly for the PMO, with his office located just a few doors down the corridor from Najib’s own national communications team’s office, Sarawak Report reported in 2015.
The whistle-blower website claimed that Stadlen was paid millions of ringgit to advise the Najib administration, including masterminding a communications policy that resulted in the PMO’s speedy statement on PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s 2015 sodomy conviction.
In November that year, when queried in Parliament about the high wages paid to Stadlen, the PMO claimed that he was not a government employee and, as such, was not paid a salary and allowance by the government.
During this period of time, Stadlen in responding to a query from the New York Times (NYT) about Najib, his wife Datin Rosmah Mansor and his stepson Riza Aziz, and what the US newspaper described as a lavish lifestyle, said that the premier had inherited his wealth.
“Mr Najib’s office, in a statement, said, ‘The prime minister does not track how much Mr Aziz earns or how such earnings are reinvested.’ As for the prime minister himself, the statement said he had ‘received inheritance’,” NYT reported.
The claim that Najib had inherited such wealth from his father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia’s second prime minister, outraged Najib’s own siblings.
Najib’s brothers issued statements denying that their father, as a civil servant, had ever accumulated such wealth.
Back in 2013, another US newspaper – the Wall Street Journal – had reported that Stadlen was a part of the PMO’s National Communications Team.
Known to be a party animal, Stadlen enjoyed late-night drinking sessions at Kuala Lumpur’s top nightclubs.
Bloggers and news portals had previously detailed his lavish lifestyle.
Such reports were accompanied by pictures of him partying, usually surrounded by a bevy of beauties – often scantily-clad.
The 39-year old was last known to live at the Loft Sentral Condominium, near the KL Sentral transportation hub, according to MACC.
Stadlen disappeared after Barisan Nasional was defeated in the May 9 general election.