Saturday, March 26, 2016

From the archive of Open Source Investigations

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For a long time, Clare Rewcastle Brown railed against former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. She branded him a “dictator”, who had “sucked his country dry” and detailed how his retirement was only a façade covering his intention to “take care of the business”, concentrating “on the core business aspect that is worth hundreds of billions of ringgit”.
But with PM Najib Razak’s economic reforms, Mahathir and his family’s political and business interests came under threat. Mahathir needed a mouthpiece to support him. Clare Rewcastle Brown became that mouthpiece. From November 2014, Clare Rewcastle converted to a Mahathir crony, calling him “the iconic former leader of Malaysia” as she signed up to his plot to oust democratically elected Najib.
As public court documents proof, Mahathir’s close associate, businessman Kamal Siddiqi, approached Rewcastle Brown to put her in touch with Xavier Justo to buy the stolen data for $2million. And as Justo admitted, she was not interested in the content of the documents, because, he suggested, she planned to modify the data.

Written Confession of Xavier Justo, 26 June 2015:
“Clare said that as long as I could give them genuine documents, the contents of those documents didn’t matter because she would do the rest. I didn’t know what she meant by that.”
On 15 July 2015, Lester Melanyi, a former editor of the Rewcastle Brown’s blog, Sarawak Report, confirmed this, declaring that the British blogger have forged the documents used to defame 1MDB and Najib Razak. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVrMSoYnQ-c). A later investigation confirmed this. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/
Here, in her own words, is Rewcastle’s conversion to Mahathir crony.
So what did Clare used to say about Mahathir?
Only two years ago, Rewcastle painted Dr Mahathir as the embodiment of corruption and cronyism. “Malaysia’s former dictator – said Rewcastle in an article from January 2013 – kept his support by distributing favours among his UMNO followers”. The favours were “paid for by Sarawak and Sabah money”. Mahathir preserved his power by bribing his party members, “making them rich”.  http://www.sarawakreport.org/2013
In May 2013, Clare Rewcastle urged the Malaysian people to protest against Mahathir and Barisan Nasional. Mahathir, said Rewcastle, “sucked his country dry”. http://www.sarawakreport.org/2013
In June 2013, she published a story claiming that Ananda Krishnan, CEO of the Malaysian investment holding Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd, was Mahathir’s crony. Due to Ananda Krishnan’s close relationship with Mahathir, Pexco, a subsidiary of Krishnan’s holding, entered into a partnership with the state-owned Petronas. As a result, Pexco “secured direct control of a series of Sarawak’s off-shore oil fields”. According to Rewcastle, Ananda Krishnan’s business was built almost exclusively on favourable treatment received from his old friend Mahathir: “Ananda Krishnan’s friendship with Mahathir was the path to his subsequent riches”. Mahathir, who is “the shrunken old man of the Malaysian politics”, and Barisan Nasional “run Malaysia as their own private business, as if the politicians held personal ownership of the state”.
Two months later, Sarawak Report accused Mahathir of using false charges against Anwar Ibrahim, stating: “Back when Anwar Ibrahim was a threat to Mahathir Mohamad, the former autocrat used sodomy charges to toss him in jail for six years.
In May 2013, she described Mahathir as a “dreadful old has-been without dignity”, a “past politician”, “who should go and do something else useful and not try to keep meddling”.
In June 2013, Rewcastle accused Mahathir of secretly handling the nation’s money: “Mahathir is still sitting there, controlling the key financial asset of the nation – in secret”. His retirement was only a façade covering the intention to “take care of the business”, concentrating “on the core business aspect that is worth hundreds of billions of ringgit”.
Then came the conversion.
In late 2014, Mahathir’s close associate, businessman Kamal Siddiqi, approached Rewcastle Brown to put her in touch with Xavier Justo to buy the stolen data, which was later edited before she published it.
Rewcastle then began a campaign of positive propaganda, referring to Mahathir as “the iconic former leader of Malaysia”, in stark contrast to before when she used to refer to him as “Malaysia’s former dictator”.
On the issue of logging, a cause she claims is close to her heart, Rewcastle praised Mahathir for his “contribution of great importance” in coming down in full support of the figures expressed by campaigners against logging. Her eagerness in casting Mahathir in a positive light deliberately ignored the fact that the average annual amount of logging (in cubic metres) was actually nearly double in Mahathir’s tenure compared to the amount recorded now.
In January 2015, Clare Rewcastle Brown went as far as interviewing Mahathir, and with no sense of irony, praised his unflinching fight against financial corruption “Mahathir agreed that there is a greater need for transparency”.
Having most recently asserted that “If Malaysia follows Mahathir and the legions of the opposition, Najib’s supporters will be “dead””.
Rewcastle Brown’s transition from Mahathir critic to Mahathir crony – proven in her own words – reveals how entrenched she is in Mahathir’s self-interested plot to oust Najib.

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