PETALING JAYA, Sep 8 — The launch of the book Sarawak Report by noted journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown in the UK will continue despite being delayed due to potential libel suits by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho over the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) scandal.
She said the law firm representing Low, London-based Schillings, had threatened the UK publishers of both the Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal’s book Billion Dollar Whale under the country’s libel laws by using expensive legal engagement.
“Both sets of publishers have therefore withdrawn from publishing in the UK. I am sort of ready for these things so I immediately became my own publishing house for the purposes,” she told reporters during her book’s Malaysian launch at the Sheraton Hotel.
As Rewcastle-Brown is using her own resources to finance her book’s publication, this would enable her to avoid libel actions her publisher faced.
“However, due to this disruption, the UK launch might be some time in October, with pre-orders sent out before that.
“I decided I was not going to be stopped from publishing just because my publisher was afraid,” she said.
When asked about her feelings of being in Malaysia to launch her book, she said it was “rather wonderful” to find herself in this situation.
“I am able to publish my book on 1MDB here, but not in the UK. Maybe my next book could be about that,” she said.
On August 31, the Sarawak Report news portal revealed the book’s UK publisher had received the Schillings letter the day before, which threatened substantial damages on the assumption the book would repeat “defamatory accusations” against its clients.