There were two articles in the Guardian recently, dedicated to the 1MDB fiasco:
Malaysia’s new security law, due to come into force on Monday, would be alarming at any time. Its sweeping powers permit authorities to declare national security areas which are off-limits to protests, where individuals and premises can be searched without a warrant, and where killings by security forces need not result in formal inquests.
Changes to the country’s criminal code, undermining the rights of suspects, are similarly concerning. Human rights groups warn that existing laws, including the colonial-era Sedition Act – which Prime Minister Najib Razak once vowed to repeal – have been used to detain and muzzle critics. The country’s police chief recently warned that protests by electoral reform group Bersih would be permitted only if participants avoided calling for Mr Najib’s resignation.
Read the rest here: The Guardian view on Malaysian politics: a scandal meriting the world’s attention
On another note, Sarawak Report ran a story on Xavier Justo just over a year ago that predominantly made the mainstream media headlines because of his tattoos and purported "hedonistic living". I read it and filed away in memory that it involved PetroSaudi and the 1MDB fiasco.
Now the whole story has appeared in its entirety on the Guardian. It actually sounds like it should belong in a Hollywood script (maybe it might, some day), and contains details of the brazen transactions conducted by the crooks affiliated with the slimeball called Malaysian Official 1.
In January 2015, Tong, Rewcastle Brown and Justo met in a five-star Singapore hotel, the Fullerton. Tong booked a conference room, and brought a number of IT experts, as well as the editor of the Edge, Kay Tat. At the meeting, Justo laid out the 1MDB joint venture, making the same claims that the US Department of Justice would set out 18 months later: namely that hundreds of millions of dollars that were intended for economic development in Malaysia had instead been diverted into a Seychelles-based company. The man at the centre of the transaction was alleged to be Najib’s adviser and family friend, Jho Low.
It was a potentially huge scoop. Tong agreed to pay Justo $2m. Tong and Rewcastle Brown were immediately handed disk drives with the data. But the payment was never made. Justo did not want the money in cash, and he worried that a large transfer of funds into his account would look suspicious. Tong offered Justo one of his Monets as collateral – but Justo declined, and said “no, I trust you”. Rewcastle Brown finally had the documents she had been chasing for more than six months.
On 28 February 2015, Rewcastle Brown posted the first big story online – under a typically unrestrained headline: “HEIST OF THE CENTURY!” The article claimed to show how $700m had disappeared from the 1MDB joint venture and found its way into various offshore companies and Swiss bank accounts.
The impact of the article was felt around the world. In the US, law enforcement officials who had been alerted to reports that Low was spending huge amounts on New York apartments now had a fix on the possible source of his wealth.
For a thrilling mini-series-type read: 1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal