Sarawak Report Issues Apology To Terengganu Sultanah

1922

Sarawak Report has apologised to Sultanah Nur Zahirah if any misinterpretations in a passage of its book on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal upset her.

The whistleblower site clarified that it did not suggest that the Sultanah of Terengganu conspired with businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, or was involved in the state government’s administration over the 1MDB affair.

It also said it did not suggest that she was linked to the Terengganu Investment Auth­ority (TIA) or the 1MDB board in any way.

“The book does relay information that Jho Low boasted of mixing socially with the royal family and herself and, as with many of his business ventures, cited his social connections as opening doors to opportunities, such as his obtaining an advisory position on the TIA,” Sarawak Report said in a statement posted on its website yesterday.

Sultanah Nur Zahirah’s lawyers have scheduled a press conference tomorrow.

It is believed that an announcement would be made to file a suit against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown for allegedly defaming her in The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose.

The book tells the story behind the investigations into the 1MDB scandal and was officially launched on Sept 8.

1MDB started as TIA, a sovereign wealth fund set up in 2008, aimed at spurring sustainable socio-economic development in Terengganu for the long term. A year later, it was renamed 1MDB.

“We note that the connection between Jho Low and the Tereng­ganu royal family was in fact far closer to the sister of the Sultan, with whom Jho was directly connected in a business sense, and her husband.

“On this basis, later print runs of the book have removed the reference to the wife of the Sultan and instead refer to the sister of the Sultan as being Jho Low’s prime social connection in Terengganu,” added Sarawak Report.

It said in neither case did the book suggest impropriety on the part of such contacts of Jho Low, nor did it suggest that his engagement as an adviser for the fund was in itself a corrupt act.

“What was corrupt was the later theft of money from 1MDB, which was after the fund had been transferred from the purview of Terengganu altogether and had evolved into 1MDB,” said Sarawak Report.

It suspected that the matter had been “deliberately misinterpreted” to the Sultanah by people seeking to cause trouble and assured her that a careful reading of the short passage should make it clear that no allegation was made against anyone in the Terengganu royal family regarding the 1MDB affair.

“We are sorry if she has been upset by any misinterpretations of our meaning and trust this clarifies the matter,” it added – thestar