Author rubbishes allegation book was hastily published.
The authors claim Najib:
- was “crazy” to push a “false story” of the money he received in his accounts as having come from Saudi royalty
- was unaware of how Jho Low syphoned billions from 1MDB
- used 1MDB as a slush fund where hundreds of millions were used for the benefit of Umno and his family.
Tom Wright has dismissed the allegation that he and co-author Bradley Hope hastily published their book Billion Dollar Whale, which accuses fugitive businessperson Jho Low of masterminding the 1MDB scandal.
“Hastily published? It was three years of our lives!” tweeted the Wall Street Journal reporter.
Wright was responding to a statement published on the Penang-born Low’s website, which described the book as “guilt-by-lifestyle, and trial-by-media at its worst”.
“As reviewers and commentators from the Financial Times and Australian Financial Review, among others, have pointed out, this particular book is mostly about transactions undertaken by global financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds and the managers of 1MDB, all of whom were experienced in such transactions and knew exactly what they were doing.
“In fact, Mr Low seems to disappear from the narrative when any of the alleged fraud occurs, only to then be accused, without any evidence, of having been responsible for it.
“But, as The Financial Times noted, that sort of tale doesn’t sell books or get the authors a movie deal. Thus, this book is written with allegations disguised as fact and gossip passed off as legitimate reporting,” read the statement.
It also claimed that the book’s narrative allowed the authors to write about celebrities, models and parties linked to the matter without ever proving any of the allegations.
“Rather than wait for the full facts surrounding this case to emerge, the authors chose to publish their tale while there are ongoing and unresolved proceedings in the US, and before a single piece of evidence has been produced before any court,” it added.
In its review of the book, Financial Times claimed that the authors “occasionally get carried away.”
“One thing is clear. If ever Hollywood gets round to telling the story on screen, here is perfect material for the script,” it added.
Both Wright and Hope are journalists with the Wall Street Journal, which first exposed the 1MDB-related transactions implicating former premier Najib Abdul Razak in 2015.
Meanwhile, Hope claimed that it was “crazy” for Najib to push a “false story” that the money he received in his accounts came from a Saudi royalty.
In an interview with coconuts.co portal, Wright said that Najib was unaware of how Low syphoned billions from the fund.
However, he also accused the former premier of using 1MDB as a slush fund where hundreds of millions were used for the benefit of Umno and his family.
Najib has repeatedly denied abusing public funds for personal gain. – Malaysiakini