‘Do-gooder’ Rewcastle-Brown claims paying price for ‘pissing off’ rich, powerful Malaysians

Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown said in the interview with Esquire Malaysia magazine that corruption in Malaysia was 'blatant'. — AFP pic
Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown said in the interview with Esquire Malaysia magazine that corruption in Malaysia was 'blatant'. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — As Putrajaya turns the screw on whistleblower site Sarawak Report (SR), its founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown has claimed to being hit with lawyers, hackers and radio jamming experts as retribution from rich and powerful Malaysians.

In the spotlight now over her website’s explosive articles carrying alleged leaks on the debt-riddled state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Sarawak-born British journalist told Esquire Malaysia magazine that the powers-that-be have made her into a “character” with a “nefarious agenda”.

“They’re always trying to make one out about me, but actually, I’m just a dreadful old do-gooder who’s got a bit between my teeth,” she was quoted saying in the monthly magazine’s latest edition.

The 56-year-old also heads Radio Free Sarawak, an independent radio station that has drawn fire from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) for its reports on Sarawak’s former chief minister-turned-governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and the Borneo state’s massive deforestation for logging claims.

“I’ve learned that if you piss off rich Malaysians in positions of political power, they are ruthless and unscrupulous in what they are prepared to do to get their own back.

“They’ve made me into a character I wouldn’t have been if they hadn’t reacted so angrily and expensively. They created my Wikipedia site, for god’s sake,” she added.

The interview however was conducted on June 6, before SR made its latest allegations linking some US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) cash transfers from 1MDB into the personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The sister-in-law of former British prime minister Gordon Brown also said in the same interview that corruption in Malaysia was “blatant”.

“You don’t have to do that much research to see it. They got lazy and weren’t bothering to cover it up.

“They’re trying harder now, but you know, there was 30 years of fairly blatant corruption that I just started covering, and I guess nobody else was,” she was quoted saying.

Rewcastle-Brown has come under fire from Barisan Nasional (BN) over her website’s reports linking dubious cash transfers from 1MDB into the personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

A former Sarawakian editor and a pro-BN outfit have accused her of tampering with 1MDB documents bought from a former energy executive whose company, PetroSaudi International was linked to the Malaysian state investor.

Rewcastle-Brown has said she will sue for defamation.

A multi-agency government task force is now investigating all allegations surrounding 1MDB.

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