They say Malaysians don’t read much, but you wouldn’t believe that when you see the long, long queues at Kinokuniya KLCC a few weeks ago.
Tom Wright, one of the writers of Billion Dollar Whale - the tell-all about Jho Low - was in town. Everyone wanted a piece of his book and maybe, of him.
(In case you’re not aware, Jho Low was one of the masterminds behind the 1MDB financial scandal, most probably the biggest financial scandal the world has ever seen. And little ol’ Malaysia is highlighted in the news because of this. Again, for all the wrong reasons.)
Anyway, I couldn’t make it on the day where he made an appearance at Kino because the LRT broke down, making it impossible for me to make it there in time. Talk about dratted timing.
But fortunately, the event was covered so well that you can find all kinds of information and interviews about it. Here’s just a sampling:
The book was so hot that it sold out everywhere - before the book was officially released! Yes, somehow Malaysia got the books earlier than the promised Sept 18, 2018 release date. This made it one of the hottest books in town, despite a widely-spread pirated PDF of it on Whatsapp and social media.
So scarce where the books that members of my book club, KLBAC, put up posts on where to find the book in which bookstore.
Brown’s launch was a humbler affair - after all, the publisher behind Tom Wright’s book was none other than mega-publisher Hachette and hers was home-grown publisher Gerakbudaya with decidedly less fat wallets - but it was still a crowd magnet. Her book signing at MPH Nu Sentral was packed with people each of them eager to get her signature on the book.
Then a minor spat between the two book authors happened, with Rewcastle-Brown demanding that the Billion Dollar Whale authors come clean about how they got their sources.
Frankly, Malaysians have never been THIS interested in a book (or two). It’s frankly perplexing and surreal as a Malaysians to have my country being discussed so hotly in a popular book and to read about my country through the eyes of these foreign journalists.
So, have you gotten the book yet? What are your thoughts about it?