We are living in a world now where politics could be sensationalized and the audience has little to nothing to object about it.
In the United States, impressions of President Donald Trump by Hollywood actors had made the world laugh and it seemed like that appeal has infiltrated into the Malaysian scene through the state investment company 1MDB which allegedly laundered billions of dollars through the US financial system.
The US Department of Justice contended that Low Taek Jho, or fondly known as Jho Low, was the central figure of the scandal-ridden company. Since then, three books had been published about the fugitive and among them, Billion Dollar Whale overshadowed the others because the book had gotten itself a movie deal!
FeedMe Malaysia is here to fill you up about the big news and potentially spoil you on some of the plotlines. Here are 10 things you need to know about the furore:
1. Michelle Yeoh is going to co-produce it
After delivering an impeccable performance in Crazy Rich Asians, Malaysian Bond-girl and Star Trek captain Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh had taken on a producer role to co-produce the Hollywood film adaptation of Billion Dollar Whale.
2. With people who brought to you Crazy Rich Asian
According to Malaysiakini, her venture was joint by Ivanhoe Pictures, the production company that brought to you the recent all-Asian cast movie. The company had acquired the rights to the book written by Wall Street Journal reporters, Bradley Hope and Tom Wright.
But there are some criticisms…
3. Michelle Yeoh publicly supported Najib before in 2013
In one of her Instagram posts where she posed with the book, netizens were disgusted by the sudden shift of her political stance. The comments section is straight-up nasty.
It’s because Michelle Yeoh once openly supported former Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak during the 13th General Election.
“I hope from the bottom of my heart that he (Najib) will remain as the prime minister and I ask all of you to give him a strong mandate,” Yeoh said in 2013, as quoted by Malaysiakini.
4. Expect to see a new level of “Crazy Rich Asian”
While Crazy Rich Asians sequel is in the making where Malaysian-born Henry Golding will reprise his role as Nick Young, it looks like Jho Low’s character will almost definitely surpass Nick Young’s fictional wealth because the book had exhibited many of Low’s insane splurges.
Whether it’s squandering $250,000 worth of casino chips to Paris Hilton, booking out one of the Philadelphia’s hottest clubs when he was just a student, or even boldly invited then-student Ivanka Trump out, Low’s life had been described as “the Asian Great Gatsby.”
Of course, the fugitive businessman was not happy about the claims made by the book. To combat that, he even launched a website to give his side of the story:
5. Jho Low said the book is defamatory, a cheap way for the authors to write about celebrities
Citing to Financial Times and Australian Financial Review, Jho Low’s website said that Billion Dollar Whale was written in a way that Low would disappear from the financial fraud narrative when discussing on the matter but only to be accused later without any evidence as a conclusion.
“…as The Financial Times noted, that sort of tale doesn’t sell books or get the authors a movie deal. Thus, this book is written with allegations disguised as fact and gossip passed off as legitimate reporting. The narrative is framed to allow the authors to write about celebrities, and models and parties, without ever proving any of the allegations,” as written on jho-low.com.