Man on the Run (2023) Movie Script

Have you heard of Jho Low?
- Jho Low?
- Yeah.
- I don't know.
- Jho Low.
I've never heard of Jho Low.
1MDB was created by
the Malaysian government
with the ultimate goal
of improving the well-being
of the Malaysian people.
The funds that were stolen from 1MDB
were used to fund Jho Low
and his family and friends'
lavish lifestyle.
This is the largest kleptocracy seizure
in US history.
It was just outright greed
and kleptocracy.
...more than $3 billion
that was stolen from 1MDB
and laundered through a complex web,
with bank accounts
in countries around the world.
The investigation is ongoing.
The way I see it is
concentric circles of knowledge.
At the center is Jho Low.
I like to plan my evenings
and make sure that I always go
to the best parties.
Jho Low was like this Roman candle
that just burst onto the scene
and became so flashy and well-known that
there was no hiding it or denying it.
Malaysia in the house!
He was a man that had
so much mystery around him.
No one knew where he was really
getting this money from.
My job literally was to hang out
in every hot club in Manhattan
till the lights went on
just to observe
what the celebrities were doing.
I remember this guy
always being in the center
of these huge tables, right?
Surrounded by these celebrities.
And then you had this, like,
short little Asian guy spraying Cristal.
He was surrounded by the likes of
Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton.
Bradley Cooper
went to a lot of his events.
Robert de Niro was there.
Kanye West, and Jamie Foxx.
I got a friend.
You know, he got some money.
He got some money.
He flew me, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill,
and some other cats,
and we flew to Australia.
We did the countdown in Australia,
then jumped back on the plane,
and then did the countdown in Vegas.
That's crazy.
So, for Jho Low's birthday,
he rented out a five-acre lot
on the Las Vegas strip.
I mean, this party was absolutely bananas.
Every single celebrity
in Hollywood was there,
from Kanye West to Kim Kardashian,
Leo DiCaprio,
Benicio del Toro, Michael Phelps.
300 people.
Everybody had to sign an NDA
before they walked through the door.
He had a little bit of a crush
on Britney Spears.
He paid her a million dollars
to come out on stage
and pop out of a fake birthday cake.
It was crazy.
Some of these parties that Jho Low threw
were so legendary,
there was no party that
was better than that party.
We're all thinking, like,
how does this man
attract all these big-time
Hollywood celebrities?
What we didn't realize is
a lot of them were getting paid
just to be there.
Shouldn't their managers or agents say,
"Guys, something doesn't add up here.
Who is this guy?"
At the end of the day, it's a check.
It's payday. It's money.
If you look at Leonardo DiCaprio's friends
over the years,
he always has a Jho Low.
I don't think Jho Low
and Leonardo DiCaprio were close.
I actually spoke recently to someone
who was on the yacht once with Leo,
and Leo actually asked this guy, like,
"Everybody says the money is clean,
but are you sure?"
"Like, do you know anything about it?"
And this person reassured him,
like, "Oh, it's fine."
You know, "This is how the world works."
Money is money.
Everybody wants it, and a lot of people do
whatever it's going to take to get it.
Jho Low
is a fat Chinese boy
who I first discovered
partying with Paris Hilton,
drinking bottles of Cristal champagne.
I have no idea what that is.
Both kind of idiotically brazen
and somewhat...
I hate to use genius, but clever.
Jho Low is a crazy guy.
Some people say that he's smart,
he's clever, but I say he's not.
He's a crazy guy because I don't see
how he thought he could get away with it.
It was just a matter of time
before he was caught.
Jho definitely, for a young person,
really understood quickly
how the world works.
Somebody once told me that
one of his favorite films was
The Count of Monte Cristo.
You know, obviously,
it's better known as a book.
But he watched the film.
In that film, the guy is able to reinvent
himself with all this money.
These big parties he was throwing
gave him this kind of
mysterious power over people.
Jho Low knew early on that,
if he could be the wizard
behind the curtain,
sort of like the wizard
wandering around the edges of the party,
that he would have a bigger status.
He went to private school in Europe.
Harrow has become
one of Britain's most expensive schools.
No fewer than seven prime ministers
have been taught here.
And then he got his degrees at Wharton.
But no one in Malaysia had a clue
who he was
except, thanks to Najib's stepson,
Riza Aziz,
he got to know the prime minister
and Riza's mommy, Rosmah.
At that point, Najib was
the minister of defense,
and so Jho was interested in this.
This is a powerful political family.
Sometimes, the Najib family
referred to themselves
as the Kennedys of Malaysia,
which is very generous.
When Jho Low was creating this
first company called Wynton,
Riza could be involved somehow.
He had the right pedigree,
the right background,
the right name
to kind of lend some legitimacy
to the company.
Najib was born
with a silver spoon in his mouth.
His family comes from
an aristocratic family
in the state of Pahang.
His father, Tun Razak,
was the second prime minister of Malaysia.
He was born for the job.
He was destined
to be prime minister one day.
It was just a matter of time.
A portrait, my favorite portrait
of my late father
when he was prime minister.
I decided to pose in the same,
in almost the same manner,
and juxtapose the two in one photograph.
So, that's how it came about.
Prime minister, you've introduced
the concept of 1Malaysia.
What is 1Malaysia to you?
1Malaysia is about
a sense that we are together
as one people.
1MDB was created, at least ostensibly,
as a development fund,
as a fund intended to raise money
and help the development
of infrastructure in Malaysia.
A country that has a lot of excess money
will take that excess
surplus government money,
invest it in business projects and deals,
so that they can make a profit
for their governments.
The Kuwaitis have a famous one.
So does Qatar,
so do the Saudis,
and so does the UAE.
Malaysia came up
with the same idea in 1MDB.
In contrast, 1MDB didn't have any money.
It didn't have
a supply of excess government cash
that it could invest,
so it went out and it borrowed it.
It acquired debt.
The idea of borrowing billions of dollars
to invest it back into Malaysia
and back into infrastructure
and things that are going to
better the lives of Malaysians
is a noble idea.
The first thing they did
was to announce that
they were going to build
the tallest skyscraper in Malaysia
and to build one more shopping mall,
as if KL needed any more,
and then the next thing you know,
they're investing money in Saudi Arabia.
What does that have to do with Malaysia
and with trying to find
the new sources of economic growth
for the 21st century?
But very little information
was made available publicly
because it was not a listed company.
So what we did was,
we got whatever was publicly available
and then we started asking questions.
Why this? Why that?
I was stopped many times from pursuing
any form of queries
or investigations into 1MDB.
What is the purpose of the loan
that was given to 1MDB?
But even then,
I never expected it to be so wrong,
to be so huge in nature.
There were murmurings about
some transactions were not kosher,
and, of course, Jho Low.
Everybody had heard about Jho Low by then
and that he was involved in 1MDB.
As newsmen, sometimes we
can feel or smell something.
1MDB, yes?
Well, it's, ah...
It's an organization
set up by our former PM.
Then the rest are...
The rest are all in the news.
Yeah, I heard about 1MDB.
It's something very...
It's a champion of the world?
It's kind of complicated, you know?
Companies are, in a sense, legal fiction.
There must be always human individuals,
human personalities,
directing and deciding for companies.
Who are the people making
the big decisions for 1MDB?
It's definitely between Najib and Jho Low.
They are the two people controlling it
and directing the affairs.
Najib was prime minister,
he was finance minister,
and he also was the chairman of 1MDB.
So, the pattern would go
something like this.
Jho Low goes to the president of 1MDB,
who reports to Najib,
and says, "The boss wants you to do this."
So, the president
of 1MDB says, "Oh, okay."
And then Najib signs off on that
as Chairman of 1MDB,
and it has to be reviewed
by the finance ministry,
and the minister of finance, who is Najib,
says, "Sounds good to me."
And then it's reviewed
by the prime minister,
who also happens to be Najib.
There were absolutely
no checks or balances.
Jho Low never had
any official role in 1MDB,
but he's always seen
with the prime minister.
Obviously, the 1MDB executives knew that
Jho Low actually calls the shot.
What he says is what the
prime minister wants.
What is never clear
is the relationship
between the two of them.
Who is the puppet master
and who is the puppet?
That's a riddle because it's really
between the two of them.
Jho Low used political connections,
whether it was in the United States
or whether it was in Saudi Arabia,
or the UAE, or Malaysia,
to then get an in to make
the business deals that he wanted to do.
One of the things he did was
he was able to facilitate a relationship
between the Malaysian political elite,
i.e., Prime Minister Najib,
and the Abu Dhabi elite.
So, Jho Low's first connection
was Yousef Al Otaiba.
He met him when he was in college
and got introduced to him
back when Yousef Al Otaiba
was not a globally known name.
Jho Low was kind of this up-and-coming guy
who reached out to him
to ask for advice on
you know, how to navigate
the halls of power in the Gulf,
and Otaiba took a lunch with him
and took a liking to him.
Yousef started doing introductions
for Jho.
Jho would do deals with those people,
and then he would pay Yousef money
as almost kind of like a commission
for helping make the introduction
or helping make the deal.
One of Jho Low's earliest enterprises
was Abu Dhabi Malaysia Kuwaiti
Investment Fund.
So, he had been boasting
about Sheikh Otaiba
as one of his fancy
Middle Eastern contacts.
It seems that Otaiba was clearly
a very important early contact
for Jho Low.
He and his allies
were doing everything they could
for Jho Low,
and it definitely appeared as if
they were benefiting quite strikingly.
There are always
what we sometimes call fixers,
operators, for those in power.
They never have any official role,
but they are the ones
connected to the power.
Everyone was talking about 1MDB
as Najib's slush fund.
It was known that his advisor on this fund
had been this rather flamboyant
young Chinese guy,
but no one really knew more than that.
The media is very cautious in Malaysia,
so it was all whispers.
I started writing about this
from a safe distance.
No local journalists
could do these stories,
and I had the internet, so I was reaching
a large and very interested
Malaysian audience.
Christmas of 2013,
Najib's notorious wife, Rosmah Mansor,
who was always considered to be
the pants in that household,
informed the education ministry
that she wanted
every school child in Malaysia
to see a film.
The upcoming Wolf of Wall Street
was to be shown in schools.
I started to go through
the launch pictures,
and then there was Najib's stepson,
Riza Aziz, the producer,
and next to him, always, Jho Low.
Riz and Jho, thank you for being
not only collaborators
but taking a risk on this movie, truly.
That was just a electric moment
because it was there in plain sight
what was going on.
Paris Hilton began hanging out
with Jho Low,
and he flew her via private jet
to Whistler in Canada
for this opulent ski vacation.
Joey McFarland came along
with Paris Hilton.
Riza Aziz was there too,
and this is the first time
that Joey and Riza had met.
Riza was a movie buff, supposedly.
Joey McFarland had come to LA from
Kentucky, and, at one point,
he had become a purse carrier
for Paris Hilton around town,
but he got connected in
this whole little group,
and that really made his career.
I mean, he suddenly became
a real producer on big films
because he was the only one of the three,
Jho, Riza, and Joey,
who actually had any knowledge whatsoever
of how films are made
or what a producer might do on a film.
So, that's how they came up with the idea
to create their own company, Red Granite.
Look, this was an incredibly hard film
to get financed from the onset.
I'm thankful to the people that
we ran into in Red Granite
that were willing to take a gamble
on making a very adult American epic
about, you know, the state of our culture.
There is no nobility in poverty.
I have been a rich man
and I have been a poor man,
and I'd choose rich every fucking time.
Yeah! Right!
Suddenly, Leo and Martin Scorsese
thought they could fund
all their slate, you know,
using this connection,
and actually, at the time,
Jho Low told everyone that
it was Abu Dhabi money
that was backing it.
I knew this was a massive story.
I didn't have anything but questions.
Sometimes, questions are everything.
So, I asked if the hundreds
of millions of dollars
that were going into
the Wolf of Wall Street production
had any connection with
the billions of dollars
that were not being accounted for in 1MDB.
On the issue of 1MDB, I was the first
to raise it publicly and in parliament.
I have made a request.
Hopefully, they will look into it
and investigate accordingly.
That led me to my imprisonment afterwards.
This is an admission that we have no cash!
By the end of 2013,
that is nearly four years after
1MDB has been established,
there were enough glaring red flags
that tells me there's a shitload of issues
or even scandals to be uncovered
underneath 1MDB.
What we did was we decided
that we gotta go
and look back at all their transactions,
and our first article was actually
in February of 2014.
It was a cover story in The Edge Weekly,
and it was simply titled "The 1MDB Story."
Well, I, by that time,
was doing what journalists do,
asking everyone, you know.
"Do you know anything about this 1MDB?"
"Have you got any leads?"
And I heard from someone
that there was a guy
who was indicating that
he had the inside data on 1MDB,
and he was trying to sell it,
so I got a number for him.
It was quite frightening,
meeting with a complete stranger,
and Bangkok's a big, dangerous city.
Sometimes, to make a fortune,
you have to commit a crime.
In February 2010,
Mr. Tarek Obaid called me
to offer me a job
in PetroSaudi, London,
and I was the number three of the company.
You have two masterminds in PetroSaudi.
Tarek Obaid is a money-loving guy.
He wanted to live the
life of a billionaire.
Patrick Mahony is different.
He wanted also money, but he was
more like the deal-maker.
He knew how to structure deals,
to use offshore companies.
They made a deal, a joint venture,
with this Malaysian sovereign firm
called 1MDB.
For a joint venture,
there are two parties.
Each of them have to bring something.
So, the Malaysians brought the hard cash.
PetroSaudi's side had nothing,
so they came up with a plan
to bring in some assets,
meaning some oil fields in Turkmenistan.
PetroSaudi never ever had
the possession of those oil fields.
Ostensibly, the joint venture
was capitalized by
$1 billion from 1MDB,
and then, on the PetroSaudi side,
certain energy concession rights
in Turkmenistan and Argentina,
purportedly valued
something like $2,7 billion.
The Edge, an independent
financial newspaper in Malaysia,
was actively pursuing
the stories with regards to 1MDB.
We had to get some evidence
to prove that we were right.
We were under nonstop attacks against us,
saying that we were publishing
nonsense, fake news.
Clare Rewcastle told me that
she has obtained a possible
source from PetroSaudi
that will unravel
the fraud that took place
between the joint venture
of 1MDB and PetroSaudi.
She was looking for someone
who'd be willing to fund
the exchange of information.
She is extremely, extremely persistent.
The asking price was US $2 million.
So, we then connected with Clare
to arrange to meet her
and the whistleblower in Singapore.
It was a sort of significant day,
because on that morning that we met,
the opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim,
was taken off in a van to jail
on a trumped-up case
that was designed by Najib
to hobble the opposition.
I remember very distinctly
when I walked into the lobby
and Clare pointed out, that's the guy,
I said to myself,
"That's not a Malaysian."
I thought it would be a Malaysian.
He sat down and he said,
"Look, I'll let you see what I've got,"
and he opened up his disc
and flicked through the screen.
Now, I'm trying to take notes.
He said, "Don't take notes."
Well, I still did,
and there was this transaction,
$700 million in one transaction
into this account, Good Star Limited,
and I remember just thinking,
"Whoa, who owns that?"
He said, "That's Jho Low's company."
What really happened is that 1MDB,
instead of sending $1 billion
to the joint venture,
sent $300 million,
and then sent the other $700 million
to a shell company called Good Star
that was controlled by
none other than Mr. Jho Low.
At that moment,
I knew that I had a huge story
if I could get this data off Xavier.
I have always wondered,
why did Justo agree
to hand it over to us
without money being paid?
At the end of the day,
there were no more question of money.
It was just a question
of doing the right thing.
During that period,
Goldman was very, very interested
to build a business in Malaysia.
So, when Jho did
the first PetroSaudi deal,
Goldman heard about it.
"This is the guy that we need to know."
Goldman Sachs played
the classical, stereotypical
caricature role of the greedy banker
that seeks only to maximize his profits
regardless of the cost to society
or the world at large.
You can wipe those tears now, huh?
What about cash?
Cash, cash, cash.
Institutionally, at Goldman Sachs,
"bad for the client" isn't a phrase.
All right, we have a 24 bid now
for 12 and 13.
Institutionally, at Goldman Sachs,
it's, "Is it good for Goldman?"
Well, we wanted the funds for 1MDB,
and, as you know, we were rather,
you know, in a way, seduced by
the name of Goldman Sachs.
You think Goldman Sachs is the, you know,
the gold standard of investment banks.
You would never imagine that
they would do something nefarious
or something illicit
or something unethical.
Andrea Vella was the brains
behind structuring deals.
Vella had this history of arranging deals
that could sound good in a presentation,
but, in reality, they were geared towards
making Goldman Sachs a lot of money,
sometimes at the downside of the client.
I met Andrea Vella
for the first time during
my time at Goldman,
working with
the Libyan Investment Authority.
I became very concerned.
There was a high probability for Libya
to lose the full value of the investment.
I decided to write an internal email
to highlight why I was worried.
The reaction that I received
was swift and extreme,
and I knew straight away that
I would be losing my job.
As I had anticipated,
the value of all these trades
went down to zero.
So, after the Libyan Investment Authority,
Andrea Vella went to Asia,
and that's where he got hooked up
with Tim Leissner.
Leissner was more of a salesman.
He's a relationship guy
that's friends with all these
billionaires and tycoons.
That's how he got to be what he is.
One thing that stood out right away
was that he called himself
Doctor Tim Leissner.
So, I discovered that, actually,
this doctorate was issued
by an Indian business
that had an office above a pizza shop
in east London.
How could he imagine that
that would never be found out by someone?
The other thing we found out was,
he was really connected in Malaysia
to some of these other
major business people
in a way that also raised more questions.
I'd picked up on two names.
There was Roger Ng,
who had come from Deutsche Bank,
and with all his political connections,
came over to Goldman Sachs,
and was known to be working hand-in-glove
with this bright star party guy,
Tim Leissner.
So, Roger and Tim Leissner
went out of their way
to be introduced to Jho Low.
Then they said that,
"Look, the next few deals of 1MDB,
Goldman Sachs better be
the investment banker."
Goldman is the 400-pound gorilla
of Wall Street.
It is one of the most storied
and powerful banks in the world.
They are an investment bank.
They make their money by
advising clients on
financial transactions,
everything from a merger
and an acquisition
to raising capital,
and then to buying and selling securities
on behalf of other investors.
Thank you for the invitation
to appear before you today
as you examine some of the causes
and consequences
of the financial crisis.
To be betting against the very securities
which you're selling to your clients,
and, internally, your own people believe
that these are crappy securities.
The bad news, in your own words,
was that your clients lose money,
but the good news is that
Goldman Sachs made money.
Obviously, very disconcerting.
We're a company.
But you still got fined, I mean.
Well, we got fined, but,
you know, everybody got fined,
and we got fined for, yeah.
To my knowledge,
none of the directors lost their jobs.
It was sort of a reset and on we go.
"Sorry about that.
We promise we won't do it again."
After the financial crisis,
they went around the world,
looking for other, essentially, rubes
to take advantage of
because they had already done it
with the American people,
and now they were looking for other people
to do bad deals with.
They wanted to do
sovereign wealth transactions
for Malaysia,
but Malaysia, as a developing country,
didn't have the financial wherewithal
to do it.
They needed to borrow money
from all the deep pools
of money in the world,
so what they did was
a huge round of bond offerings.
These looked good
because they were issued by Malaysia.
They were backed by Abu Dhabi,
so there's two sovereign nations
with a lot of money behind these.
Goldman Sachs underwrote
three different bond issuances
in the total amount of $6,5 billion.
1MDB was willing to pay a premium
to have a more confidential
and quicker series of bond issuances,
and they did that
without really having to show
where the bond proceeds were gonna go.
Goldman Sachs funded the bond transaction,
and then they got to sell it
to investors after the fact.
These were government deals
with these massive projects,
power and energy plants,
roads, hospitals, bridges,
the kind of thing that
Malaysia desperately needed.
Our entire industry
was built on the back of issuing bonds.
It's a way to capitalize an
economic enterprise upfront.
These bonds were different than that.
One of the things about
the Goldman Sachs role that stood out
was how much money
they had made on these bonds.
Typically, when you arrange a bond
for a company or especially a country,
the profits aren't huge
because it's really safe debt.
You know, it's backed by a country,
and so, typically,
you could make 1%, but in this deal,
they made about 10%,
which is just an insane amount
of money to be making.
You would never do that deal
if you could help it.
They should have made something
closer to $60 million.
They made $600 million instead.
So we covered it.
Like, it's the news, right?
We wanted to find out, why did 1MDB
pay Goldman such huge fees?
And I remember we did a series of articles
and Goldman actually got a bit worried.
We had a conference call
with Goldman Sachs,
out of Hong Kong,
where they keep on saying
that nothing wrong.
All the deals were kosher.
No commission was paid.
No brokerage fee was paid to anybody.
Because the profit made in the Libya deals
and in the Malaysia deals
were in the magnitude
of hundreds of millions of dollars,
which was quite significant
by Goldman standards,
then the good news
of how much money was made
would have traveled
right to the top of the organization.
The fact that it was 10% that they made,
that alone, you don't need
to know anything else,
and there's no way Lloyd Blankfein
didn't know that.
You needed the investment bankers
to be on board,
'cause they're the ones
who are gonna structure it.
They're the ones who know
how to underwrite the bonds.
They're the ones who know how to price it.
They're the technocrats who are gonna
come in and actually execute,
and they found two bankers,
Tim Leissner and Roger Ng,
that were willing to play ball with them.
This deal could not have been done
without the highest in Goldman
knowing about it.
We now know what happened to the money.
They actually stole most of it.
I mean, it's absolutely crazy.
These guys are nuts.
A very good friend of mine in the FBI
was our legal attach in Kuala Lumpur.
He is a Malaysian American
who spent multiple tours in Malaysia
and was extremely well-connected
to all their major
law enforcement entities
and his assistant legal attach,
who was another extremely
competent FBI agent.
There's nobody who knew Malaysia better.
His knowledge and reputation
was unparalleled.
I was one of the first
to staff the FBI legal attach office
in Malaysia.
So, my dad came out to Malaysia in 1959
and met my mom, who is a local Malaysian.
I was born here in Malaysia and lived here
a good part of my childhood
and formative years
before returning to the US
in the early '80s.
The first time I heard about 1MDB
was probably around 2014 or '15.
As we started to get information about
this purported fraud that had transpired
through Jho Low's collaboration
with Prime Minister Najib,
there was this attempt to funnel money
out of this 1MDB sovereign wealth fund,
and that money was not going to
where it was supposed to go.
Probably around February, March 2015,
Chuck called me up on
a Sunday and he said,
"Hey, you wanna go
to Attorney General Gani's house?"
Chuck had just come back
from Washington, D.C.
with Attorney General Patail,
and they had met with Director Comey,
and, yeah, the subject of 1MDB came up.
Gani point-blank asked us,
"Hey, you guys are hearing
these allegations that are out there.
Do you believe there's
any validity to them?"
He had asked the prime minister
if there was any validity
to these allegations
and was told no.
The fact that that was
the first real inquiry
from the Malaysian government
was significant to me,
and that probably is
what spurred Dave and I
to continue to send information back.
June 2015, I was made aware that
the various investigations
into 1MDB had established that
two days after the third
Goldman Sachs bond deal,
$681 million had arrived
into Najib's personal bank account.
That was when The Wall Street Journal
got into the story.
The Journal was putting
itself on the line,
because when we were writing
that story, Boies Schiller,
the same firm that
represented Harvey Weinstein,
were telling us, you know,
"You could be at very serious
risk of defamation.
Najib has done nothing wrong."
There's a lot of pressure on us
to answer the questions.
To solve the case.
When I got the data
on Najib's own bank accounts
and I gave that to other mainstream media,
that turned the tide on the story.
This was the smoking gun.
$681 million went into Najib's account.
It's not often that a prime minister
gets $681 million
transferred into his account,
so that was a dynamite story.
There were massive protests going on
in Kuala Lumpur.
They were called the Bersih Protests.
The 1MalaysiaDB, the $2,6 billion.
Where's the answer?
We want the answer.
We need a clean government.
The streets in Kuala Lumpur
were just packed.
When Najib claimed that the $681 million
that suddenly showed up
in his bank account
was a gift from a Saudi prince,
it's very hard to suppress your laughter.
Let's put it that way.
Who in their right mind
would give you $681 million
into your personal private bank account
with no strings attached?
I was shocked at kind of
how brazen that was.
It was pretty obvious that this
was related to 1MDB.
My stories had the main effect of
unleashing domestic investigations
in Malaysia.
The financial intelligence unit here said,
"Will you help us on this case?"
And I was like, "Sure," you know,
"Whatever we can do."
Najib had reluctantly allowed
these to go into operation
until those investigations
started to deliver some extremely
interesting information.
Clearly, this fraud
had touched on US territory,
making it under FBI jurisdiction
to investigate.
All roads and the allegations
led back to the prime minister,
Dato' Sri Najib,
in collaboration with Jho Low,
mastermind of the fraud.
That was the one and only meeting
of that little task force.
A couple of weeks later was
Night of the Long Knives.
At that time, there were a lot of rumors
that they were gonna arrest
and charge Najib.
I received an anonymously sent document.
It was the arrest warrant for Najib Razak.
So, I bit the bullet and I published it.
And that was when everything went wild.
Malaysian police raided
the attorney general's office,
took him into custody,
and disbanded that special task force,
and even took away
some of their case files.
I arrived that day
and the elevator opened,
and it was pandemonium.
I mean, people everywhere,
and then I went back to the embassy
and subsequently heard that
Gani had been retired.
That was the end of that task force
and the end of our overt cooperation.
He removed the attorney general
and he suspended The Edge.
We are very disappointed
with the decision of the KDN.
What is their motivation?
That's something for them,
for other people, to answer.
I have the honor of being the person
most litigated against by
the sitting prime minister.
The Malaysians had true institutions
that were doing their job.
Najib decided to sever that independence,
so all the institutions that should have
been able to act as a check and balance
were immediately destroyed.
The young lawyer
in the attorney general's office
who had drafted that arrest warrant
was pulled from his car on the way to work
in the middle of KL.
The police is urging anyone
with information on an accident
at Jalan Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur,
on the 4th of September
at about 7:51 in the morning
to come forward.
Sir, is Morais still a missing person?
There are some reports...
A car resembling his was found right here.
The whole area was strewn with
melted items from the car,
a possible indication
of how big the fire was.
He was found murdered,
his body in an oil drum.
It succeeded in terrifying everyone.
Every white-collar bureaucrat in Malaysia
got the message.
You move against Najib
and that's what's gonna happen to you.
In June 2015,
there was a bunch of police that came
to my house and arrested me.
It's still very fresh in my memory.
In a couple of seconds, I was arrested,
thrown into the house, handcuffed,
and that's where the nightmares started.
Clearly, this was orchestrated
by Najib and Jho Low
and their contacts in Thailand.
Xavier was horrifyingly thrown into jail.
He was treated like a terrorist.
He was then forced to sign a confession.
PetroSaudi, mainly Patrick Mahony,
were threatening my wife,
saying I will probably disappear
and she will be arrested
and my son will end up
in the Thai orphanage.
I had no options.
I mean, it's either that and you die,
or you do whatever they want.
So, I choose the only option I had.
So, yes, "Give me the paper.
I will sign whatever you want."
"Want me to confess that I killed Kennedy?
I will confess it."
"I just want to end this nightmare."
The story that they wanted
is that I stole the data.
I discovered later why.
Because by stealing the data,
they wanted to have that
not receivable in a court of justice.
They wanted me to say that I cooperated
with the journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown
and The Edge
in order to overthrow a legit government,
that we tampered with the data,
and that's what I wrote.
I spent 547 days in jail.
Some emotions.
You have moments in your life
that you will never forget,
and this is one of the moments
I will never forget.
I was branded an enemy of Malaysia
by Najib.
A request was made to Interpol by Malaysia
to put me on their red notice list
to be arrested at any point as a terrorist
for activities detrimental
to democracy, as they put it.
Unfortunately, in this part of the world,
corruption is a part of everyday life.
I think, at the end of the day,
you're surprised at the massive scope
of the corruption,
but not that he was engaged
in corrupt practices.
Malaysia was always an autocratic regime
with a velvet glove.
At this point, Najib took off
the velvet glove.
He was desperate.
We were reaching the end game
and he was struggling to survive.
You know, a major shake-up in
the Malaysian government
based primarily on a US investigation
was extremely tense,
and there was a lot of pressure
being applied
on people in the embassy to just
go away, you know,
and stop investigating this.
The events following
the Night of Long Knives
changed the atmosphere in Malaysia.
What that was designed to do
was send a clear message,
and that objective was achieved.
To me, anyone that believes in
a democratic system of government
should be absolutely appalled by
the firing of your attorney general
and the dismantling
of your anti-corruption commission,
and, yeah, I think it did make our team
just double down all that much more.
Say, you know,
if we don't do it, who will?
Now, our strategy changes to,
we have our own investigation.
We're trying to enlist assistance
from the Malaysians
to support our investigation.
Chuck and I both agreed that
we were going to continue
to do what we could,
but it would be much more covert.
We'd have to watch what we did
and who we spoke with.
Did someone leak to you
the warrant for your arrest
before the Night of the Long Knives?
Uh, yes. There were leaks.
There were leaks, but, you know,
such things are hard to keep a lid on it.
There are too many people involved in it.
So, just to reassert this,
you knew that there was a pending...
There could have been.
There could have been.
I didn't know for sure.
There could have been.
But you had a strong suspicion.
I was given the transcript, yes.
I'm excited to be here.
It surprised me the extent to which
Mr. Low was able to establish himself
very quickly,
being a young man,
as a mover and a shaker
coming from nowhere.
The Low family has been involved
in philanthropy
for the past 70 years.
Jho Low was trying to create
a fictional backstory for himself
that justified having all this money.
We decided as the third generation
to institutionalize this effort.
He was trying to rebrand himself
as the actual secret heir
of a billionaire fortune.
Step one. We dig deep.
Like a lot of lower-level criminals,
they don't have a long-term plan,
and he kind of fit that mold,
except he was able to inject himself
into this top 0,001% of the world.
Step two. Collaborative design.
There's at least one email
where Otaiba is exchanging concerns
with an Emirati colleague of his,
saying, "What is Jho Low doing?"
Step three. We think very long-term.
They were saying,
"Jho, can you please calm down?
Like, stop, you know, spending
like a million dollars
and saying, 'Malaysia in the house.'"
Malaysia in the house!
Step four. We invest big.
He's starting to become a story himself
because of this,
his flamboyant partying around the world,
and so there was a real concern that,
who have we gotten ourselves
in bed with here?
And is this going to end
the way we're worried it might end?
And lastly, step five, we measure to grow.
He was putting heat on himself.
People like Leissner,
people like Yousef Al Otaiba,
all of them were saying,
"Jho, take a lower profile."
They were basically trying to teach him
how to do these shady deals,
which is, you do the deals,
you make a lot of money,
but you don't get a public profile.
That's the number one rule,
and he was breaking that rule.
What's unique about Jynwell Foundation
is our ability to
cut across all borders
to achieve a common vision.
They start worrying about
the Department of Justice's
interest in Jho Low.
Their lawyer informs him that
the FBI is looking for him,
and they say to themselves,
"Why is the Department of Justice
looking at a scam
that originated out of Malaysia
and may have involved the Emiratis and us?
It doesn't have anything to do
with the United States."
And the lawyer writes back,
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news here,
but the Department of Justice
considers itself
to have jurisdiction over any transactions
carried out in US dollars
that went through, you know,
US financial institutions."
Let's all think big. Let's all be bold.
And let's really think about
our place in this world.
You know, they say timing is everything,
and in the 1MDB case, on multiple levels,
I would say that timing was everything.
There is no, ah,
movement for changing the government.
I don't see that.
He was in total control again,
just when people thought that
he was gonna fall.
The $681 million USD
went into his account.
How is he gonna explain it, right?
And he was gonna be charged,
but, all of a sudden, he just came back.
He removed those who were
making a move against him,
he suspended us, and then he
was totally, totally in charge.
What had happened did not,
to me, did not affect
the fact that we were
still gonna work this.
Even while Najib was in power,
the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission
basically worked with the FBI
to make this case possible.
They reported to Najib,
but they worked with the FBI on the side.
Abu Kassim told me,
"I'm the head of the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission,
and this is one of
the biggest corruption cases in the world.
You know, I feel a sense of responsibility
to work with you and to get to the truth."
This is an individual to me
that demonstrated
that fortitude, that bravery,
to take a stand with what
he believed was wrong.
He did feel this passion
as a person who fought corruption
his entire life.
Ultimately, it ended his career.
Hopefully, we can continue our dream
to see this country free of corruption.
My tour in Malaysia ended
and I returned to the US.
I felt pretty downtrodden
because there seemed to be,
from the Malaysian perspective,
a gag order, essentially,
on the 1MDB investigation.
I remember, I got a message,
"Watch the news later today.
They're going to talk about 1MDB."
Today, the Department of Justice
has filed a civil complaint
seeking to forfeit and recover
more than $1 billion in assets
associated with
an international conspiracy
to launder funds
stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad,
or 1MDB.
I can never stop thanking
the FBI and the DOJ.
I was so happy.
I didn't believe that this was happening
because we were fighting
this uphill battle for so long.
A number of corrupt 1MDB officials
treated this public trust
as a personal bank account.
We had put together
the largest international corruption case
and civil forfeiture filing
in the history of the Justice Department.
When the FBI and the DOJ
came out and laid it out,
exactly how the money was stolen,
which companies it went through,
where it ended up,
and how it was spent.
$137 million
of the pilfered money
was spent to purchase
works of art.
A Bombardier jet
with a purchase price of $35 million.
$250 million on a silly yacht!
They used the money to pay gambling debts
at Las Vegas casinos.
Miranda Kerr, picked up by Jho Low
and taken on a cruise in this super yacht
and given $8 million worth
of matching pink diamonds
as a Valentine's Day present.
Most of the stuff he bought her,
she had to give back.
It was seized by the government.
He also presented her
with an acrylic see-through piano.
The house was built
around this grand piano
and there's no way to get it out,
so I think the government
just threw up their hands.
"Just keep it. Just keep the piano."
It's perversely poetic that
some of the billions of dollars
stolen from
the government of Malaysia
was used to fund the movie
The Wolf of Wall Street,
which is a movie about
greed, about excess,
and about how money can,
at least for a time,
make somebody seem invincible.
Malaysians were
both horrified and hooked by this drama.
$500 million alone
on Rosmah's diamonds and excesses.
Rosmah Mansor, Najib's wife, is probably
the most vain, narcissistic,
greedy, and corrupt
wife of a prime minister
or sitting ruler
of any country around the world.
There was a 22-carat,
pink, heart-shaped diamond
that was given to Rosmah
with funds stolen from
the Malaysian people.
This particular asset
became one of the symbols of
the graft of the 1MDB investigation.
The $27 million diamond
that Jho Low purchased for Rosmah Mansor
came from funds that passed through
the bank account of
the person named in the complaint
as Malaysian Foreign Official One.
Because of my role with DOJ,
I can't identify, you know, on camera.
I can't say who Malaysian Official One is.
It sends a message to kleptocrats that,
if you take your illicit proceeds
and bring them to a place
like the United States,
you don't control the narrative anymore.
So, when 1MDB started to fall apart,
basically, the shit hit the fan,
Jho Low had sort of
disappeared from the map.
We called a great source
and they said to us,
"You wouldn't believe
where Jho Low is right now.
He's in the Arctic Circle.
He has this giant yacht
called the Equanimity,
and it's an ice-class yacht,
so it can actually break ice.
Like, he's literally the furthest place
he could be on Earth
from the scandal."
That's what finished Najib,
looking at how this money
was spent, aided by Jho Low.
How could you vote back such a scoundrel?
In 2018, the lead-up to the election,
in the words
of a State Department official,
"Najib's gonna get reelected
and that's gonna be the end of your case."
1MDB resonated among the middle class,
the professional class,
who understood what 1MDB was about,
about the theft of billions of dollars.
But he was very confident.
Never has the ruling government,
Barisan National,
never have they lost in
the national elections.
Everybody here is because
they want to look for a change,
a better future for all
their grandchildren.
We have had enough. Enough is enough.
It was a tense time.
I remember talking to some
senior police officials
who were saying, "You know,
if you go out in the communities
and you see the rallies
where Mahathir is speaking,
there's a tremendous amount
of enthusiasm."
In 2018, it wasn't merely
about changing government.
It was a liberation of mindsets
in which now Malaysians know that
they are ultimately in control.
His predecessor, Mahathir,
started to come out and to say that
Najib was a liar and a criminal.
He has galvanized a fractured opposition
to oust what he calls
a government of thieves.
The opposition under Anwar Ibrahim
and all the others,
they're able to get to the door,
but they couldn't open the door to power.
Mahathir was able to open the door
because a lot of conservative Malays
who would never vote for Anwar Ibrahim
voted for the opposition
because of Mahathir
because Mahathir was one of them.
Anwar Ibrahim used to be a student radical
in his early days
and eventually became
deputy prime minister under Mahathir,
but he was a political prisoner early on.
Anwar has spent a lot of his life in jail.
He's now 75 years old.
You mentioned that you'd read
thousands of books
while you were in prison.
What is the book that
meant the most to you?
All the classics was important to me.
Initially, it was very difficult.
It was one book a week.
To them, books can be a weapon in prison.
Why did I form an alliance with Mahathir?
It was very difficult,
one of the most toughest decisions
I had to make in my life.
There is sometimes a bigger agenda
in life, a bigger task.
The nation supersedes
your personal desires or anger,
and I think, for now,
it is to save the country
from the corruption and atrocities
under Dato' Sri Najib,
and we therefore had to form an alliance.
They were rivals in the past,
but they came together
for the sole purpose of defeating Najib.
Both of us realized that,
if you quarrel with each other,
the winner will be Najib.
I remember I had just
gotten back from the US,
and I was pretty much resigned
to the fact that
he was gonna win.
Just before I went to sleep,
I looked at the ongoing results
and, you know, Mahathir was ahead,
but it was still early.
At about 2:00 a.m.,
Woo Lee called, saying,
"Is what I think happening, happening?"
And I was wide awake then,
and I remember going into my living room
and turning the television on,
and just, you know,
just the state of shock
that this had actually happened.
Then, we won the election of 2018.
Celebrations across Malaysia
after a shock result
in the national elections.
Mahathir Mohammed has won
a stunning victory
in Malaysia's election,
ending the six-decade rule
of Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition.
The people rose up,
challenged this kleptocratic state,
no longer just silencing themselves.
- Reformasi!
- Reformasi!
They shout the name of the movement
launched 20 years ago,
when their leader,
Anwar Ibrahim, was jailed,
ironically on orders of the man
who has led them to victory today.
Enough of intimidation!
No more!
We have entered a new era for Malaysia!
Take a look at this.
This is footage we got in
just in the last few minutes
from Malaysia.
Former Prime Minister
Dato' Sri Najib Razak
has been arrested over the 1MDB scandal.
Malaysians watched in fascination
as police conducted raids
on properties linked to Najib Razak.
There were 284 boxes containing handbags
and there were 72 bags
containing cash, jewelry, and watches.
So, the total cost of all the items,
the retail price,
will be touching 910
to 1,1 billion ringgit.
With some breaking input that has
just come in from Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia's former leader, Najib Razak,
has been found guilty
of all seven corruption charges.
He's always maintained his innocence,
but the country's high court
didn't buy it.
Who is most responsible for 1MDB?
Dato' Sri Najib, the then-prime minister,
must be held fully responsible
and accountable.
You turned my office into a studio.
- Who's doing the interviewing?
- I am.
You're doing it?
You have the understanding,
in case it borders on sub judice
and contempt of court.
I've got to stop that.
- Sure.
- Because the trial is on.
Whose idea was it to create 1MDB?
It wasn't my idea.
I had no idea whatsoever to create 1MDB,
but it was also based on a rationale
that we wanted to attract
more investment for Malaysia,
particularly from the Middle East.
Who was Jho Low?
Well, I didn't know Jho Low to begin with.
He came via his appointment
by the previous king,
and he also came with
the strong connections
with the Middle East,
particularly with Saudi and UAE.
Were you aware that Jho Low
and your stepson Riza Aziz
were funding Hollywood films
with 1MDB money?
I was not. I was totally unaware.
In March of 2013, you signed a letter
asking Goldman Sachs
to raise $3 billion in a bond sale
with the Malaysian government,
guaranteeing the debt in case of default,
and, at that point,
Goldman had raked in
$600 million in profits.
Did this not raise any red flags for you?
Well, we wanted the funds for 1MDB,
and, as you know, you're rather, you know,
in a way, seduced by the name
of Goldman Sachs.
I guess I was more interested
in raising the funds
rather than looking into
the details of it.
Were you aware of the size
of the fees they were charging?
I was not exactly aware of the amount. No.
So, in 2013, $681 million
was deposited into your personal accounts
from a bank account
associated with Jho Low.
How do you explain that?
To begin with, when I met King Abdullah,
he promised that he would help me,
and he believed that Malaysia
as a government was
an example of how a Muslim country
should be run.
Were any favors requested
in exchange for this money?
Was it a quid pro quo on a personal level
with the Saudi government?
No, I made it very clear that
there was no quid pro quo,
and it was given to me
and I could use it as I deemed fit.
You can see why people have
a hard time believing that.
Well, that was my understanding
with the late King Abdullah.
How do you respond to allegations
that you had to have known about
the 1MDB deals
because your signature
is on all the documents
required for the deals and investments?
You know, maybe I was
too trusting, perhaps,
but it was required because
the minister of finance
is the sole shareholder of 1MDB
and my signature was required,
but I never, never imagined that
it was part of a scheme
to defraud 1MDB at all.
Did you review these documents
before you signed them?
I didn't know that the management
was also in cahoots with Jho Low,
and they were also...
And also members of my office
also in cahoots with Jho Low,
and they did receive
a substantial amount of money.
Your assertion is that everyone around you
was in cahoots with Jho Low
except for yourself?
Jho Low was very manipulative
and he made sure that the people around me
plus the system was on his side
and he could influence them.
The names that were
supposed to protect you,
to protect the government,
failed in their responsibilities.
- What about you?
- Including the Central Bank.
What about you though? Did you fail?
Yeah. I failed in a sense.
I trusted the wrong people
and I should have...
not assumed that things would
happen in the way it did.
Too many people
who should have alerted me,
they didn't alert.
Do you believe you're the victim
of a vast conspiracy?
Well, a lot of things were
deliberately kept away from me,
put it this way.
I mean, I wouldn't be so stupid.
I mean, I must be really
the person with
the lowest IQ in the world.
Do you believe you failed
the people of Malaysia?
In a sense, I failed,
in I trusted the wrong people, yes,
but the system failed me as well.
I think that has to be noted.
The system that was supposed to support me
failed me, failed the people of Malaysia.
In America,
we have a saying
popularized by Harry Truman.
"The buck stops here."
Because ultimate responsibility
lies with the leader.
Now, you're telling me that
you trusted the wrong people
and the system let you down,
but does that absolve you
of responsibility?
Do you believe that you should not
be held accountable?
What was I accountable for?
And that's important.
You don't just say,
"Oh, the buck stops with him,"
but, you know, as a prime minister,
as I said, you are supported
by the entire system,
and many people are supposed to
advise you, but up to now,
no action was taken against them, you see.
So, that is my bone of contention.
People are equally
or if not worse in terms
of their culpability,
why has action not been taken?
When people receive money
for their personal use,
no action has been taken.
I mean, does it mean that,
just because you take action
against the man at the top,
everybody else is absolved?
I'm sure it doesn't mean that.
I mean, if you commit a wrongdoing,
then you should be prosecuted,
but, so far, none have been prosecuted.
This is what I feel...
what is wrong with our reaction
to the whole 1MDB saga.
"Have you no shame?"
That is what everyone's asking of Najib.
You know you're lying.
We know you're lying.
Have you no shame
for what you've done to your country?
I was finance minister for eight years.
It's just impossible, ludicrous,
to assume that there's billions of schemes
under the government auspices
that you don't know.
You must be either completely ignorant
or an idiot or blatantly corrupt.
I don't believe any sensible person
could believe that.
This morning, the department filed
criminal charges in New York
against the Goldman Sachs Group
and its Malaysian subsidiary,
charging each with conspiracy
to violate the anti-bribery provisions
of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,
and requires the bank to pay
a total of over $2,9 billion
in criminal fines, penalties,
and disgorgement.
The timing of this happening is stunning.
How quickly after the financial crisis,
with all the same players in their chairs.
Many people will say
these fines are just a cost
of doing business.
Fines are a deterrent
to this type of activity, no doubt.
Without higher-level decision-makers
eventually going to prison for them,
it's not the ultimate deterrent.
Do I think that they've
been held to account
as much as they should have?
I personally don't, but, you know,
those decisions were made at
extremely high levels of DOJ.
Ng is the only Goldman banker
to stand trial.
He's charged with helping launder
billions of dollars
embezzled from 1MDB.
Ng faces as many as 30 years in prison.
Roger Ng was more like
as a proxy for Jho Low.
The trial was about Jho Low
and Jho Low's crimes.
Tim Leissner would've been in
the worst trouble of all,
but he sang like a canary.
Roger Ng wasn't really on our radar,
but he didn't ever come across
as an instrumental person.
We later learned he was
the guy on the ground
dealing with 1MDB,
whereas Tim was more the high-flying guy
that was overseeing the strategy.
In Malaysia right now,
there are some people
who sympathize with Roger Ng.
Why did DOJ pick a Malaysian to charge?
Why did they do a deal with Leissner?
What about all the other
Goldman Sachs guys?
What about the Arabs who stole from 1MDB?
Tim Leissner talked about
how helpful Otaiba was to Jho Low,
because, at the very elite world,
so much of it runs on trust
and who you know.
What Leissner's testimony tells us is that
Otaiba was seen as the person
getting them approvals within the UAE,
easing the process
if it were ever slowed down
to enable Jho Low to have the scheme,
to have the UAE backing,
to have the UAE sovereign
wealth fund, IPIC,
be the guarantor of 1MDB.
The Wall Street Journal in particular
was able to show $66 million
flowed into companies connected to Otaiba
during the period that
the 1MDB scam was active.
The UAE is punching
so far above its weight,
thanks to Otaiba here in Washington,
that removing him would come
at such a high diplomatic cost
that there's really no benefit
that would make it
worth doing it for them,
and that includes whatever blow-back
they're gonna get
around the Jho Low scandal.
Conspiracies, everyone has a job to do.
A short time ago,
a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted
former Goldman Sachs
Managing Director Roger Ng.
It's like an orchestra,
and everyone plays an instrument,
and even that guy at the last minute
that hits the cymbals,
his cymbal is also part of the conspiracy.
Today's verdict is a victory
for not only the rule of law
but also for the people of Malaysia.
Roger Ng was the guy with the cymbals.
People often forget that
Najib and Jho Low,
as the architects who conceived
and designed the scheme,
could not have achieved all this
without helpers, people who
assisted them, enablers.
All of them were compliant.
In this case, you really see
so many different
middle-level kind of
bureaucratic organizations
that made enormous amounts of money
but didn't really get held accountable.
The accounting firms that looked
at the books of 1MDB.
Law firms that didn't really
ask enough questions.
PR firms just doing
the job they were told.
All of this is being conducted by
British, American, European
professional classes,
the sort of people I went to school with,
the people I meet in parties.
They turn a blind eye
and they make themselves rich,
facilitating this corruption,
and then pretending that
it's got nothing to do with them.
This is a global problem.
It's a global system,
but there are other consequences,
because that dirty money now
is coming into our countries,
and the people who control it
are starting to influence our
way of life, our politics,
and our decision-makers,
our political parties.
Jho Low was trying to influence
American elections.
He was getting money
to the Obama campaign.
Later on, he was trying
to get money to people
around the Trump campaign
and the Trump administration.
Frank White had connections
to the Obama family
and was targeted by Jho Low
and hired for some very improbable
business deals.
That leads into Jho Low
then getting an invitation
to the White House
holiday party that year.
Cut to April 2014.
Obama is on his first official
state visit to Malaysia,
where he takes a selfie
with Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Elliot Broidy, a former Republican
national committee deputy finance chair,
was also implicated
in the Jho Low and 1MDB scandal.
Broidy and his wife
told Jho Low's representatives
they could make
the Justice Department probe go away.
His aspirations went from getting rich,
and then it gradually came
to global influence, global power,
to play a role between countries,
and he actually succeeded
at becoming that person.
In finance, we use the phrase
"extract value"
as if that's what we do.
That's parasitic.
"What value did you contribute"
is what we should be asking.
We need to learn that we're
interdependent with each other.
It is an unjust, oppressive system,
this unbridled capitalism
enriching the few
at the expense of the vast majority.
So I think, "What is the answer?"
The answer is back to the people.
In a lot of corruption cases,
in money laundering cases,
there is this perception sometimes
that these financial crimes
don't have victims,
and that really is not true.
Someone still has to pay back these bonds
and all the interest payments
on these bonds,
'cause it's not gonna be Jho
and it's not gonna be
Prime Minister Najib.
It's the Malaysian government
that's holding the bag.
They're gonna have to then
turn to their people,
and the schools that they
were gonna use it for,
the hospitals, the infrastructure,
the economic development
that they really wanted to do
is not gonna happen now.
I sell skewers, steamboat, and barbeque.
I am illiterate, I don't know.
The opportunity cost
for Malaysia's economic future
is that you can't get to that higher level
in terms of the incomes
that your citizens earn.
They're stuck there.
We are trapped,
whether we are to truly transition
from a developing country
to a developed country,
or whether we will regress further.
We begin with breaking news
out of Malaysia.
A partnership that emerged to rid Malaysia
of corruption and economic stagnation
has collapsed.
So, people do expect the new government
to undertake massive change.
Once you delay, they'll punish you.
Mahathir Mohamad's sudden resignation
has thrown the country into uncertainty.
The PH government fell for one reason.
The prime minister of the day
just resigned
without telling anybody.
All the cabinet ministers
went to the office
on the morning of Monday,
the 24th of February,
thinking they were ministers,
and at five o'clock in the evening
of the same day,
they were sacked.
Anwar was putting a lot
of pressure on Mahathir
to fulfill his promise to hand over power,
but which Mahathir refused.
They came together to remove Najib.
That they did.
But then coming together
to work as a government,
that's a different story.
I had seen it in other countries
around the world.
The opposition,
once they come into government,
seems unable to govern.
They can't get their act together,
and the next thing you know,
they vote the crooks back in power again.
The past two years have shown us that,
Malaysians, our frustrations
run deeper than
these most recent political battles.
What do you know of Najib?
I don't read or watch the news.
I don't know much about him.
I work at sea and don't have time
for these things.
The biggest problem I have faced
is the tsunami.
My boat went down with the waves.
That's all I know.
In the last one or two years,
his popularity has risen incredibly.
That's an objective fact
and I cannot explain that.
Let's go!
Our frustration is rooted in knowing
that no matter how hard they work,
the deck is stacked against them.
The biggest problem is
the political will to handle basic needs
of the society.
There is budget
because our country is rich!
We have oil. We have Petronas.
We have palm oil.
We are the second biggest exporter
in the world.
It's a, I would say,
the diversion of funds
for some party and political.
They want to stay in power, you know?
There are those within the society
who are more than happy
to glorify a crook,
who are willing to betray our future
in exchange for favors
and political patronage.
It's rooted in a fear
that their kids won't be better off
than they were,
and that is a dangerous
and growing inequality.
There are many politicians
who only talk, but don't take action.
Malaysian democracy is
at a critical juncture,
at a juncture in which
we could potentially regress
and forever be stuck
in a developing country status,
or one in which we could turbocharge
to make Malaysia a developed
and dignified country.
We have not matured as a democracy.
Poor governance and therefore
fragile institutions
has led to massive endemic corruption.
Our country needs to invest more
in development.
Talk less, act more.
Do you hope to be prime minister again?
My intention now is to clear my name,
and we hope that the system
will give us a fair hearing.
Do you think you'll be successful
in clearing your name?
Who knows about the future? Who knows?
It's just not Najib. It's systemic.
Najib is, of course, the icon
of that corrupt establishment,
but the system has been
totally compromised.
We are not fighting against one man.
We are actually challenging
an entrenched corrupt system.
I don't have a choice.
In the years that I still have,
I will continue to endeavor
for change and reform,
and I think this country and Malaysians
deserve something better.
Was it worth it?
I would still do whatever we did again.
I still have some hope that
justice is gonna be served in this.
We used to see these apartment buildings
go up and wonder,
who's actually gonna afford
to live in those luxury apartments
And then you come down here.
This is the real Malaysia.
Are these people's lives better today?
Are they making a better life
for themselves and their children?
I hope in the future,
my children will be successful.
Earn a good salary.
Be able to afford a home.
Right now,
housing costs are too expensive.
- Where do you think Jho Low is?
- I have no idea.
In fact, the police should be able
to answer that question.
- Okay, okay.
- Please wear a mask.
Why have the Malaysian police
been unable to locate Jho Low?
You'll have to ask them.
Okay. All right.
Please wear a mask.
Jho Low? I heard about him
usually on the news.
It's an old story already.
Nothing's changed.
Under our criminal law system,
the accused must
be in the dock physically,
which is why Jho Low's prosecution
never took off.
He's not physically in Malaysia.
If he's still alive,
I believe he's in China.
My best guess is Jho is
between this triangle of cities.
Macau. Hong Kong. Shenzhen.
He's been laying low for a long time.
The Chinese made a calculation that
it was in their interest to allow Jho Low
to remain there in China
when the scandal broke.
Jho obviously has
some level of value to them.
I do think, though, that
that value is perishable.
He is responsible for killing
Malaysian democracy
and hurting the lives of
millions of Malaysians,
and we need to do whatever we can
to ensure that he's brought back
to face justice.
There is times in your life
that you have choices to make...
that are important choices.
If you love your country,
you have to act.
Jho Low is still out there.
I don't know if we'll ever have
a full closure in this case.
I hope so someday,
but I don't know if we'll ever get there.
I think corruption is so damaging
to our world.
I'm proud that I had the opportunity
in my career
to fight it in some way,
and some successful and some not,
but you never get
the full satisfaction of that
and that's the frustrating part.
You never get that full closure.
You never feel like, you know,
you've done enough.
I love this country.
Somewhere deep down,
I still have to retain hope that
things are gonna work out.
I just hope people here too
don't give up hope.