KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 16 — Efforts by fugitive businessman Jho Low to prevent a book by two Wall Street Journal reporters on his role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal from being published are stymied by the fact it is now spreading like wildfire on social media.
The Star reported the 306-page PDF version of the book Billion Dollar Whale has been circulating via social media and text messaging WhatsApp in both Malaysia and Singapore since Thursday.
The paperback copy is sold at MPH bookstores in the country, and due for release in Singapore on Tuesday. It is priced at RM79.90 and S$29.90, respectively.
Some customers who pre-ordered the book cancelled their orders after they obtained the PDF copy.
However Tom Wright, one of the book’s authors, urged members of the public from disseminating the leaked copy.
When contacted by The Star, he said the book’s publishing company would take legal action against anyone who forwarded the book since the copy has an embedded digital footprint.
Wright co-authored the book along with Bradley Hope, where Low’s role in the 1MDB scandal is talked about in what is held to be one of the biggest heists in global financial history.
Late last month Low hired London-based law firm Schillings to block the book’s global distribution, along with another book by journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown titled The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Exposé.
Schillings threatened libel actions against any bookstores and its websites for the sale, promotion, publication of a synopsis and reviews of the book.