THE anonymous blogger of malaysianexpose.wordpress.com behind the baseless attacks on Tong Kooi Ong and The Edge Media Group is also behind similar vicious onslaughts on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, while running other blogs which published complimentary articles on businessman Jho Low, investigations showed.
One common thread behind the attacks appears to be the fact that The Edge has been publishing exposes about state investment vehicle 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), while former prime minister Dr Mahathir has been openly critical of it, even saying it was unnecessary and should be shut.
Nazir, who is chairman of CIMB Group, has in private conversations expressed concerns that the massive RM48 billion debts of 1MDB is posing a big risk to the economy and banking system should it fail. In an interview with The Star in December, 2013, Nazir also said he was worried about how 1MDB will be able to develop the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) given the glut in office space.
The blogger did not just attack Dr Mahathir, but also his sons businessmen Tan Sri Mokzhani and Datuk Mirzan and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz. The blogger also attacked former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, who voiced reservations about 1MDB.
In the case of Nazir, his wife and children were also the subject of slander.
On the other hand, the Penang born 30-something Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was involved in the setting up of the Terengganu Investment Authority (the precursor to 1MDB). He is said to still wield considerable influence at 1MDB because of his close relationship with the Abu Dhabi parties which have multi-billion ringgit dealings with the controversial debt-laden company owned by the Ministry of Finance.
Low, often seen at big spending parties with Hollywood celebrities like Paris Hilton and Leonardo Di Caprio, has business dealings with 1MDB, including a failed £1 billion (RM5.6 billion) bid for the UK hotel group Coroin Ltd in 2011. 1MDB had provided a letter of support for Low’s Wynton Group to buy Coroin which owns several hotels including Claridge's.
Low made the bid together with his friend Sheikh Mansour Zayed of Abu Dhabi, who is also the owner of English Premier League club Manchester City. But they failed as some of Coroin’s shareholders did not think their proposed high debt leverage deal (which is also typical of 1MDB deals) could work.
But Low and Sheikh Mansour, who bought small stakes in Coroin before attempting to buy everything, are believed to have walked away with a tidy profit after they sold their stakes to the eventual buyer.
1MDB has never explained why it provided the letter of support, which surfaced during a court case in London involving squabbling Coroin shareholders, to help Low.
The Edge Media Group in the past year published several exposes about the affairs of 1MDB, including 1MDB’s support for Low to buy Coroin and a RM1.38 billion land purchase in Penang, a week before the 2013 general election, from businessmen close to Low and his father Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng.
The Edge reported that 1MDB had overpaid for the parcels of land which have a number of encumbrances and that it will lose a lot of money to build 9,999 affordable homes, because of the high land cost and cost to evict a few thousand homes that have been there since the 1950s.
The anonymous blogger used the public display and user name ahrily90 and he wrote at the following blogs since mid-2014:
These two blogs have attacked Mahathir since July last year.
ahrily90 also wrote on two blog which targeted Nazir:
ahrily90 also wrote on three blogs which praised 1MDB and Jho Low:
Various articles were written which described him as global investor and philanthropist through his Hong Kong firm Jynwel Capital Limited. These include US$20 million to save wild cats and US$50 million to a university cancer research centre.
Several articles were on his many successful deals, including helping Kuwait Finance House to buy the Oval luxury apartment in Kuala Lumpur which it sold for a US$20 million profit. He was also reported to have bought the L'Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel and last year made a bid to buy Reebok for US$2.2 billion.
One article was headlined "Jynwel Capital: Rooted in the Past, Invested in the Future" while another read "Entrepreneur and Philanthropist's Generosity Inspires at Children's Ball".
todayinbusiness.wordpress.com and worldofcorporate.wordpress.com were taken down last week but what ahrily90 wrote can be seen in the Google cache of these blogs.
ahrily90 has changed his WordPress public display name and user names for the various blogs last week to julijulipeh, Pen Jingga, saberarturia18, and rahmanirwan74.
ahrily90 has also contributed articles at lowtaekjho.wordpress.com. This blog too has been deleted by its authors.
The person behind all these blogs has realised he has been discovered and is now trying to cover his tracks by repeatedly changing his public display and user names.
He is also trying to decouple the various blogs.
But anyone who googles ahrily90 will be able to find evidence that links them all together and points to him as the person behind the attacks on Mahathir and Nazir since mid-2014, and most recently Tong and The Edge Media Group and The Malaysian Insider.
And it all has to do with criticism of 1MDB.
So who is paying him to do it?