‘Billion Dollar Whale’ author claims prevented Rosmah from receiving Unesco award in 2016

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Billion Dollar Whale author and award-winning journalist Tom Wright today declared that it was him and his partner, Bradley Hope’s actions that prevented former first lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor from receiving the Unesco’s “Lead by Example” award in 2016.

In a series of tweets, Wright said after finding out that Rosmah was to receive the award from Unesco during the 71st United Nations General Assembly even after numerous reports of the latter’s ill-dealings that had been reported by the media, they took matters into their own hands and rang up the organisation.

“In September 2016, the UN was going to honour Rosmah with an award at a gala dinner at the Met in New York for her work with a children’s charity.

“This was AFTER numerous media reports had come out about Rosmah’s corruption. The charity also was mainly funded with Malaysian state money, not her personal funds,” he said.

It however fell on deaf ears, according to Wright, and it was only after they contacted another recipient, Nicholas Kristof ― who was supposed to receive the award alongside Rosmah ― that Unesco pulled the plug.

“So, we called Unesco and told them, but they still wanted to give the award. @NickKristof of the New York Times was also an awardee, so we also emailed him, and to his credit he declined to accept an award alongside Rosmah.

“Eventually the UN pulled the ‘Lead By Example’ award for Rosmah, and thank heavens for them,” he said.

He then said that perpetrators like Rosmah will always try to look for validation in the international institutions, just like fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, otherwise known as Jho Low, who donated millions during a charity ball in Manhattan, United States.

He then shared that Malaysia is not the only place where this crime took place, but required senior members of banking institutions around the globe for this scheme to happen.

“It’s easy to sneer at Malaysia as a cesspool of graft, but that misses the point. None of this could have happened without the connivance of scores of senior executives in London, Geneva, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere.

“Low straddled both these worlds ― Malaysia and the West ― and he knew exactly how to game the system,” he quoted from his book, Billion Dollar Whale.

Rosmah was selected to receive Unesco’s ‘Lead by Example’ award in conjunction with the 71st United Nations General Assembly in 2016, before the organisation withdrew it.

The award was said to be a recognition of her efforts in developing the potential of children, especially through the Permata programme.

However, the award was then withdrawn at the last minute as the committee were worried about the links between the organisation and Rosmah. – MMO