KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Co-author of the book Billion Dollar Whale Tom Wright expressed his satisfaction at hearing that convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was behind bars tonight after the Federal Court upheld his guilty verdict over the multimillion-dollar SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case.
He said that it has been seven years since he first wrote about the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, and Najib was finally being “held personally liable and responsible” for his actions.
He, however, cautioned that he was unsure if Najib is going to serve the full 12-year term.
His comments come on the heels of speculation that there might be a possibility of a royal pardon.
“Najib went on the attack when we first published our July 2015 story about the US$681 million in his personal accounts.
“He threatened to sue the Wall Street Journal, our employers at the time.
“He ousted Malaysia’s attorney general, who was about to arrest him. And he falsely claimed the money was a donation from Saudi’s royal family,” he said in a commentary piece on the website Whale Hunting.
Wright also used the opportunity to call on other nations like Switzerland and the United States to sanction whoever allowed the 1MDB fund to be embezzled as it was supposed to be used to empower Malaysia’s economic development.
He said that the money was instead used by Najib and Jho Low, his co-conspirator, for several alleged wrongdoings, such as bribing voters, buy jewellery for Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, funding The Wolf of Wall Street film, as well as bankroll parties with Hollywood celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Swizz Beatz, Jamie Foxx and Miranda Kerr.
“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,” he wrote, quoting an excerpt from the Billion Dollar Whale book.
He said that no one from Goldman Sachs has been jailed despite playing a significant role in helping Najib and Jho Low.
“With this verdict, Malaysia becomes only the second jurisdiction after Singapore to jail anyone in this scandal (Singapore jailed a number of private bankers who helped Low),” he added.
Earlier today, disgraced former prime minister failed in his final appeal against the High Court’s guilty conviction over the SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case, as hundreds of Umno supporters bussed in from Pekan to the Palace of Justice lamented the decision.
The decision marks a historic moment for Malaysian politics as the country will witness for the first time a former prime minister head to jail.