Cover Story: Not tilting at windmills

This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on September 24, 2018 - September 30, 2018.
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Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle Brown took a calculated risk investigating the 1MDB debacle. After years of being vilified by the previous Malaysian government, the British journalist feels vindicated. She relates her motivation, experiences and reflections to TAN GIM EAN.


The more people said that she was tilting at windmills when she tried to unearth the dirt behind the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) debacle, the more British journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown dug her heels in. She was on the scent of a big story and nothing could throw her off the trail.

“No, I’m not naturally fearless. Maybe naturally rebellious. I would say I was hopefully sensible and cautious in carrying out this investigation. I don’t go courting danger for the sake of it because that causes anyone else as much trouble as oneself — my family was quite strict about that,” says Rewcastle Brown, founder of investigative site Sarawak Report, which first shed light on the shenanigans of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his cohorts who allegedly siphoned off money from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB into their personal accounts, and highlighted the issue with insider information and leaked documents.

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