ps- Please don’t forget to stand with Fadiah! Much more impt than this!
Isn’t it weird to have Paris Hilton and Rosmah in the same sentence? *shudders*
The Nutgraph has really come into its own, avoiding the saturated online news landscape and focusing on features and investigative reporting.
Among the speculations that arose from there was the involvement of Low Taek Jho in the Rosmah ad. Yeah. This “fat bastard” (as one Twit put it):
Many have highlighted his Mr. Paris Hilton persona, but recently, Anil Netto did some more serious homework.
They basically follow a trail of APCO-like public relations companies (esp in terms of sketch factor), in trying to determine who really arranged for the ad, and for Rosmah’s fake award.
Somewhere along the line:
Jones replied to Tichansky after reading Tichansky’s e-mail to The Nut Graph, and surprisingly copied us in an e-mail we received on 2 June, saying: “This is great. Thank you! Please send, and I’ll forward to Joh.”
This appeared to be an accident, and many suspected that there was a misspelling :)
TNG bravely followed up:
Henry Thomas Jones of Laurus Group DC, a “small public relations firm”, sent an e-mail on 7 June accusing The Nut Graph of blowing up a “trivial matter” and being unprofessional.
The Nut Graph had written to Jones on 3 June to ask what his involvement in the award and the ad was after he had surprisingly copied us on an e-mail to Tichansky. In that e-mail, sent on 1 June, Jones had responded to Tichansky’s e-mail to us which defended Rosmah as the award recipient. Jones told Tichansky: “This is great. Thank you! Please send, and I’ll forward to Joh.”
The Nut Graph then wrote to Jones, who is known to have worked in a powerful lobbying company and is a seasoned political campaigner, to ask him if Laurus Group, DC was the one that ordered and paid for the ad congratulating Rosmah. We also asked if he was involved in lobbying for Najib’s meeting with President Barack Obama and for Rosmah to be conferred an award.
Additionally, we asked him who “Joh” was, and whether it was a particular individual whose name has been circulating among the New York-based media, and among local business and political circles. Jones did not reply.
However, after our 7 June report on the NYT’s mistake, Jones’s apparent involvement, and the mysterious “Joh”, Jones wrote a scathing e-mail that said:
“‘Joh’ … is my receptionist, Jo. When typing on the iPhone, it is not uncommon for me to misspell words. In this instance, I added an ‘h’. My firm provides occasional PRO BONO services to the Business Council for International Understanding.
(nat: OH, iPhone ftl? hahaha)
“It is unfortunate that such a trivial matter, a misspelling in an internal communication, gives rise for your publication to generate unsubstantiated allegations, and then to publish the same. From an American perspective, I find The Nut Graph‘s standards for publication to be less than professional.”
Despite being asked to clarify in an e-mail we sent on 8 June, Jones did not reveal his receptionist’s full name and contact details. He also did not explain why a receptionist in his firm would need to be copied on a correspondence between him and his client.
He did not specify what about The Nut Graph’s reporting on 7 June constituted “unsubstantiated allegations”.
I don’t know why Mr. Jones is getting his knickers in a twist, if this really is a small issue?
Also, secretary or assistant we might understand. Receptionist? Err.
Another lead worth following is that there were considerable rumours going around that the Rosmah ad was connected to Taib Mahmud’s money, down in Sarawak.
Lo and behold, thanks to Anil:
Low is a non-executive director of UBG Bhd. He is a representative of Majestic Masterpiece Sdn Bhd and Abu Dhabi-Kuwait-Malaysia Investment Corporation (ADKM), a 53 per cent shareholder of UBG, whose chairman is Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, son of Taib Mahmud. (UBG has acquired a couple of CMS companies.)
Anyway, why should we really care about all this? A few hundred k is a lot of money, but not tons.
Oh. But wait. There’s more? After all, mebbe a few hundred thousand ringgit ain’t quite enough to put you on a boat with Paris in Paris.
Meanwhile, 1MDB is a “strategic development company” owned by the Malaysian government. The firm started life as the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which was set up to manage Terengganu’s RM1 billion annual revenue from oil royalties under what would be the country’s second sovereign wealth fund. TIA was established with the approval of the federal and state governments in March 2009, around the time Najib was set to take over as PM.
One of the key figures who advised the King (who comes from Terengganu) to establish the TIA was Low Taek Jho, reported the Edge on 14 December 2009.
(Low was previously reported in the Malaysian Insider, which cited a Singapore Straits Times report, as being part of Najib’s inner circle and having close ties with Middle East investment funds.)
The original idea behind TIA was to create a sovereign wealth fund with RM5 billion from the federal government and another RM6 billion to come from Terengganu’s securitised future oil royalties receivable from Petronas.
Good lord. RM 11 billion?
Yeah, I think there are some people who’d consider that kinda ‘hawt’.
I think what we’re looking at here is a Najib lieutenant that was entrusted to help siphon of billions of our money, and who got a little carried away.
(Not that he wasn’t willing to share the glamour, mind -
Apart from the NYT ad, Rosmah and Najib were also feted on 16 April at the five-star St Regis Hotel in New York where the award ceremony was held.
The star-studded event was emceed by Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx and attended by Hollywood glitterati including Oscar-winning Robert De Niro and Charlize Theron, and Emmy Rossum. Performances by Grammy-award nominee Leona Lewis, and the Harlem Boys Choir were also held. A rendition of We Are the World led by Foxx and sung by De Niro, Theron and others ended the night.
Various blog postings and Tweets on the event talk about how well Foxx warmed the party up. One blogger, who attended the event, wrote that Foxx performed a “flirty” karaoke version of You’ve Got a Friend with Rosmah, and danced with Najib.
That’s it? That’s why they work so hard to steal our money? To rub shoulders with movie stars?
Imagine what it would have costs to have those stars ‘entertain’ the PM of some far-off, tiny country.
Had enough of these guys? I have.
ps- added info via @Aisehman: also don’t forget dat bsides MCing at Hair’sz event, Foxx also gave Jho a car as gift, as reported