The Accidental Whistle-Blower

The Accidental Whistle-Blower.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, if you are not aware of who she is, well, Time Magazine has done a profile of how she stumbled on to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Scandal way back in 2013. She is a British investigative journalist, born in the former British Crown Colony of Sarawak (now part of Malaysia), and the founder of Sarawak Report. She became a journalist, joining the BBC World Service in 1983. During a visit to Sarawak in 2005 to speak at an environment conference, Rewcastle Brown was asked by local journalists and activists to help publicize the deforestation in the state. However, when she began probing into the issue, she became blacklisted by the State and received death threats. On 1 August 2015, Najib addressed UMNO delegates in Seremban and in a clear reference to the Sarawak Report, demanded that “white people” stay out of Malaysia’s affairs. Following a series of exposés by Sarawak Report regarding 1MDB scandal, an arrest warrant was issued by a Malaysian court in August 2015 for Rewcastle Brown. The arrest warrant was obtained for her alleged involvement in “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and the “dissemination of false reports.” Responding to the arrest warrant, Rewcastle argued that it is the Malaysian government who is “detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by suppressing free speech by closing down two newspapers and arresting people who officially engaged in the 1MDB investigations.

On 27 August 2015, in a written reply to Fair Trials International, Interpol clarified that they had rejected the “Red Notice” application from Malaysia on 9 August. Interpol had also written to advise all its 190-member national police forces not to use Interpol’s channels in this matter and also requested to remove any data from their national databases.

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