Journalism Pakistan
Newsroom Pakistan: PFUJ condemns murder of Aaj News reporter Malik Hassan ZaibNewsroom Pakistan: Motorcycle assailants kill journalist Malik Hassan Zaib in NowsheraJSchool: Exciting media careers for fresh graduatesNewsroom Pakistan: Suno TV censors PTI leader Zartaj Gul's scarf featuring Imran KhanNewsroom Pakistan: Influencer Junaid Akram apologizes for paid promotion of Punjab GovernmentWorld: Libyan TV host Ahmed al-Sanussi arrested after reporting corruptionNewsroom Pakistan: Dictatorship and Drawing: Akhtar Shah's satirical journey through martial lawsNewsroom Pakistan: Absa Komal condemns sexist remarks during talk show appearanceWorld: Over 60 media and civil society organizations call for open access to GazaCensorship and career: Working as a journalist in the UAEAsia: Journalists face charges in India for reporting alleged police misconduct and mob lynchingNewsroom Pakistan: Paid Praise: How government endorsements by influencers violated ethical standards

Graft-busting journalist returns to new Malaysia

 JournalismPakistan.com |  Published May 23, 2018

Join our WhatsApp channel

Graft-busting journalist returns to new Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Clare Rewcastle Brown was harassed and vilified for years for waging a quixotic campaign to expose Malaysian corruption that helped topple the country’s long-ruling regime.

The British investigative journalist is now back in the country of her birth after being blacklisted for years, and being treated as a celebrity in a sign of the whirlwind changes since historic May 9 elections.

No one is more stunned than Rewcastle, who said she expects to see further startling revelations of corruption and misrule emerge as a reformist administration cleans house.

“There is so much that’s going to come tumbling out now,” she said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

“Everyone is gob-smacked as they see these things happening. There are going to be more amazing scenes to come.”

Rewcastle, now 58, has been a thorn in the side of Malaysia’s ruling elite for years, working from abroad to expose larceny and misrule centring mostly on the rainforested state of Sarawak where she was born and spent her early years.

But her biggest bombshell may have been the 2015 revelation by her website Sarawak Report that nearly $700 million was funnelled into the bank account of ex-premier Najib Razak.

That helped super-charge allegations that Najib and his entourage plundered billions from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, in a scandal that led to his electoral defeat, ending six decades under an increasingly corrupt government.

He is now under investigation and expected to be charged.

Rewcastle’s work over the years triggered Malaysian arrest warrants, lawsuits, threats, and a sustained campaign of online vilification that she suspects was orchestrated by Najib’s government using western PR firms.

The sister-in-law of former British prime minister Gordon Brown, Rewcastle was still recently being approached by shadowy characters offering pay-offs if she’d publish juicy “revelations” for them — ham-fisted attempts to entrap and discredit her, she says.

“Millions have gone into trying to destroy my reputation, which could have been spent on something useful,” she said. “But all they did was help make me famous, the stupid idiots.”

Never welcome, and officially barred from Malaysia in 2015, Rewcastle has gone almost overnight from persona non grata to welcome guest.

She met AFP following an interview with a state-aligned newspaper that formerly maligned her but gave her glowing front-page treatment on Monday.

She was halted repeatedly by ordinary Malaysians who recognized her distinctive ginger locks, stopping to thank her and snap selfies.

Many more have praised Rewcastle on social media after learning of her arrival. “It’s extremely gratifying,” she said.

Few foreigners were as feared by Malaysia’s government.

Born in Sarawak when it was a British crown colony, she spent several years there, often following her mother — a midwife for indigenous people — on jungle jaunts to remote clinics.

She later worked for the BBC and others in London in investigative journalism before devoting herself to publicizing Sarawak corruption, deforestation, and eviction of native peoples from traditional lands.

“I did this partly because I was mad, and partly because I thought there was a slim chance something could be done,” she said of the state, which environmentalists believe has lost nearly all of its original rainforest.

In 2010, she started Sarawak Report and short-wave broadcaster Radio Free Sarawak — operated in secret from London, and later Bali, Brunei and Sarawak itself.

Rewcastle drew on a network of contacts in Malaysia to repeatedly expose Sarawak corruption. Najib’s regime eventually blocked the website — a move the new government has reversed — and radio signals were jammed.

With Malaysia on a reform path, Rewcastle expects to wind down her anti-graft work,” which she said has been a “hand-to-mouth operation reliant on family funds and the odd donation from supporters. - AFP

PFUJ condemns murder of Aaj News reporter Malik Hassan ZaibPFUJ condemns murder of Aaj News reporter Malik Hassan Zaib

 July 14, 2024:  The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemns the murder of Hassan Zaib, an Aaj News reporter, and demands immediate g...

Motorcycle assailants kill journalist Malik Hassan Zaib in NowsheraMotorcycle assailants kill journalist Malik Hassan Zaib in Nowshera

 July 14, 2024:  In Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, journalist Malik Hassan Zaib was shot and killed by motorcycle assailants. The Khyber Union of Jo...

Suno TV censors PTI leader Zartaj Gul's scarf featuring Imran KhanSuno TV censors PTI leader Zartaj Gul's scarf featuring Imran Khan

 July 13, 2024:  In a blatant display of media censorship, Suno TV blurred images of former Prime Minister Imran Khan on a scarf worn by PTI leader...

Influencer Junaid Akram apologizes for paid promotion of Punjab GovernmentInfluencer Junaid Akram apologizes for paid promotion of Punjab Government

 July 13, 2024:  Junaid Akram, a popular vlogger with 1.15 million subscribers on YouTube, has publicly apologized for a video where he praised the...

Dictatorship and Drawing: Akhtar Shah's satirical journey through martial lawsDictatorship and Drawing: Akhtar Shah's satirical journey through martial laws

 July 12, 2024:  Explore the journey of Akhtar Shah, a renowned satirical cartoonist in Pakistan, as he shares his early inspirations, creative pro...

Absa Komal condemns sexist remarks during talk show appearanceAbsa Komal condemns sexist remarks during talk show appearance

 July 12, 2024:  Dawn News TV anchor Absa Komal has spoken out against the persistent sexism she faces in the media industry. Highlighting an incid...

Paid Praise: How government endorsements by influencers violated ethical standardsPaid Praise: How government endorsements by influencers violated ethical standards

 July 11, 2024:  The recent controversy in Punjab where actors and social media influencers were paid to praise the government's 100 days in office...

Anchor Ayesha Jahanzaib alleges abuse by husband, FIR filedAnchor Ayesha Jahanzaib alleges abuse by husband, FIR filed

 July 10, 2024:  Prominent anchor Ayesha Jahanzaib has revealed that she has been subjected to months of domestic abuse by her husband, Haris Ali, ...

Newsroom
Libyan TV host Ahmed al-Sanussi arrested after reporting corruption

Libyan TV host Ahmed al-Sanussi arrested after reporting corruption

 July 12, 2024 The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the immediate release of Libyan TV host Ahmed al-Sanussi, who was arrested in Tripoli. CPJ condemns the lack of information on his detention and demands his safe return. Al-Sanussi is known for reporting on local politics and government corruption.

Over 60 media and civil society organizations call for open access to Gaza

Over 60 media and civil society organizations call for open access to Gaza

 July 12, 2024 More than 60 media and civil society organizations, including The New York Times, BBC, and CNN, have signed an open letter urging Israel to grant independent access to Gaza for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists coordinated the letter amid rising concerns over press freedom and misinformation.

Censorship and career: Working as a journalist in the UAE

Censorship and career: Working as a journalist in the UAE

 July 11, 2024 Explore the challenges and opportunities expat journalists face in the UAE, with insights from Imran Naeem Ahmad, a former Gulf News journalist. Discover the impact of censorship, career prospects, and the reality of working for leading newspapers like Khaleej Times and Gulf News in Dubai.

Journalists face charges in India for reporting alleged police misconduct and mob lynching

Journalists face charges in India for reporting alleged police misconduct and mob lynching

 July 11, 2024 The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) calls on Uttar Pradesh police to drop their investigation into journalists Zakir Ali Tyagi and Wasim Akram Tyagi. The journalists are accused of inciting religious enmity through social media posts about a Muslim resident's death in an alleged mob lynching.

Censorship in India: Media's battle for freedom under Prime Minister Modi

Censorship in India: Media's battle for freedom under Prime Minister Modi

 July 11, 2024 Since Narendra Modi took office, Indian media has faced increasing censorship and government control. This article examines media suppression and highlights the strategies journalists and news organizations use to navigate these challenges, preserving press freedom in India.