WSJ reporters want ‘Beijing-protected’ Jho Low jailed

Boo Su-Lyn
A poster detailing the launch of the 'Billion Dollar Whale' is pictured at the entrance of Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur on September 17, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Wall Street Journal (WSJ) journalists called today for Malaysian fugitive businessman Jho Low to be jailed over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal.

News portal Malaysiakini reported Tom Wright, one of the co-authors of the book Billion Dollar Whale chronicling the scandal, as claiming that Beijing was protecting Low in China.

“The story hasn’t been out yet and Jho Low is still in China, protected by Beijing. Knowing something about powerful Chinese people... but eventually, hopefully, he will go to jail,” Wright was quoted as saying at the New York launch of the book.

He did not provide proof for his claim in the report.

Wright also reportedly talked about the differences that he had with his co-author, Bradley Hope, during the writing process.

“I was trying to portray Jho Low as this guy who is ‘fat’, too much. I didn’t like him and Bradley said, ‘This guy is pretty cool’,” Wright was quoted as saying.

According to Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World, Low stole at least US$5 billion (RM20.7 billion) from Malaysian investment firm 1MDB.

A description of the book on Amazon cited federal agents who investigated Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme as saying that the 1MDB scandal would be the “textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age”.

Billion Dollar Whale currently retails at major bookstores in Malaysia. Wright is set to come to Kuala Lumpur on September 25 for the Malaysian launch.

The book is currently being translated into Malay as well, Wright said.

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