1MDB back in spotlight as Bill Gates endorses book on scandal

Zurairi Ar
Gates is a voracious reader and often shares his book recommendations via YouTube or Facebook. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Microsoft founder Bill Gates promoted a book on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal on United States broadcaster CNN yesterday, reportedly sending interest in the title and topic skyrocketing.

Gates appeared in the Global Public Square show with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, where he was asked to give his recommendation for a book.

“It’s a sad story of corruption and international finance,” Gates said of his recommendation, Billion Dollar Whale written by Wall Street Journal’s Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.

Labelling it a “very quick” and “thrilling” read, Gates compared the book to another one of his previous recommendations, Bad Blood by journalist John Carreyrou about multibillion-dollar biotech startup Theranos.

In the same interview, Gates also talked about inequality, his charity and global warming.

Wright posted Gates’ video on his social media accounts, and thanked the philanthropist for his recommendation.

The writer also claimed that Gates’ recommendation has seen interest in Billion Dollar Whale rising on book review database Goodreads.

According to Gates’ profile on Goodreads, he started reading the book on January 26 before completing it two days later.

The book narrates financier Jho Low's journey to becoming a friend of the Hollywood elite and powerful figures around the globe, using funds allegedly stolen from 1MDB.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first trial linked to 1MDB scandal was deferred last week. He has a total of 42 charges against him from several separate cases.

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