Thursday, August 1, 2019

Trying to Stop 'The Kleptocrats'

The Hollywood Reporter reported that lawyers working on behalf of Jho Low (left), a central figure behind the 1MDB financial scandal and now a fugitive wanted by US, Malaysian and Singaporean authorities, have sent letters to a number of distributors and platforms carrying 'The Kleptocrats' asking for the film to be removed from their catalogs. 

'The Kleptocrats' is a documentary on the 1MDB story, which saw in excess of $4.5 billion allegedly stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and used to finance over-the-top shopping sprees, including a major foray into Hollywood. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the London-based law firm Schillings have accused The Kleptocrats of defaming their client, alongside infringing copyright in their use of video footage and potentially prejudicing ongoing legal proceedings. 

But the filmmakers have fought back, asserting that the film not only has been vetted by their UK and US counsels but is also covered by their indemnities, thus negating any risk to the distributor. 

They also claim that the letter is simply an attempt at intimidation to silence the film, and that Low – currently believed to be hiding in China and subject to an arrest warrant – is widely considered by investigating authorities in the US, Singapore and Malaysia to have played a key role in 1MDB. 

The Kleptocrats producer Mike Lerner (right) of Roast Beef Productions has this to say: “Knowing how passionately Schillings believe in the rule of law and justice I would be surprised if they were not willing to help law enforcement agencies in the United States, Singapore and Malaysia, in any way they can, to locate and bring to justice their client, the fugitive Jho Low, so he can answer for his alleged role in one of the largest financial frauds in history, a crime that has deeply affected the lives of so many ordinary Malaysians, struggling to maintain decent living conditions for their families in the face of shameless greed and naked corruption". 

Directed by Havana Marking and Sam Hobkinson, The Kleptocrats is due to air on Starz (an American premium cable and satellite television network) on August 05 and the BBC later this year. 

[Malaysians had the chance to watch it in January this year when it was screened on Astro First (Astro Ch480), On Demand and Astro Go].

The Hollywood Reporter said last year, Jho Low’s lawyers had also tried to prevent bookshops worldwide from carrying the book on the scandal called Billion Dollar Whale, written by Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Tom Wright. 

People should know these days they can’t stop the truth, once its time has come! 

Today, I returned to Jalan Teknokrat 5 in Cyberjaya, Selangor for the DHL Cyberjaya Toastmasters meeting. 

Thanks to VP Education Tan Wai Pei for accommodating my request for a speaking slot. 

And I delivered my CC#4 titled The Sorcerer – and thus I completed my CC Round #57:

Overall, it was a good meeting and I'm seeing a much better attendance which is a good thing. I'm happy for this club.

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