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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10: Clare Rewcastle-Brown’s masterpiece ‘The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose’ is more than just about one of the biggest stories in Malaysian history that consequently helped create a regime change; it also created new hope for a greater democracy and a new Malaysian media.
Political activist Peter John Jaban said more than 1,000 people from all walks of life were at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel for the book launching on Saturday (Sept 8).
“Many were clutching three or four copies of the 528-page book, and Brown was the centre of attraction. Before the start of the event, there was a long queue of people wishing to shake her hand and to thank her for what she had done for Malaysia,” he said in a press statement.
Peter John said Damansara MP Tony Pua said it best when he said the book chronicles how a journalist came to the fore to expose one of the biggest scandals in Malaysian history and consequently helped create a regime change that most Malaysians had almost given up hope for.
As for Rewcastle-Brown, Peter John said she shared with the audience how her UK publishers had asked her to trim the book down by focusing only on the 1MDB scandal and to ‘leave out most of the stuff about the political side in Malaysia and the issues with the rainforest’.
But Rewcastle-Brown, he added, stood her ground because the book was written ‘primarily with Malaysians in mind’ and her strong desire to right some of the wrongs caused by corruption at the highest level. In addition, she also loved Sarawak — where she was born but where she remains banned from entering.
“So, the book rightly details her early focus on timber corruption in Sarawak through both Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak with me and all the way up to the 1MDB saga”, said Peter John.
He added that Rewcastle-Brown also touched on the mechanisms that allow graft to carry on unchecked within the government and via a network of international financial specialists and banking institutions: public relations companies were hired to spread fake and defamatory news and out-dated laws were not amended in order to protect the filthy rich.
Peter John lamented that Rewcastle-Brown remained on Sarawak’s immigration blacklist even though her revelations were now internationally recognised and are the subject of an ongoing probe not only in Malaysia but in several other countries, including in the United States. — DayakDaily