Jho Low, the film financier and international playboy suspected of being a major player in a billions of dollars worth of billions of dollars from the Malaysian government investment fund, has become an unlikely face for a series of novelties that are allegedly misplaced do.
Adorned with cheeky slogans like "spending as I stole it" and "The Season is Jholly", the articles show how the 37-year-old's homeland develops a dry sense of humor towards Low and his alleged crimes. 19659002] The exact location of Low, whose full name is Low Taek Jho, is unknown. He is still in demand for the multi-billion dollar scandal 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The State Fund was founded in 2009 by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to invest in real estate, infrastructure and infrastructure energy projects.
Kelvin Long, co-founder of A Piece of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur's store behind the Jholly Christmas collection, told CNN that while many Malaysians ultimately want to see low justice, they are ready to take the lighter side in the meantime.
"We want to bring back to Malaysia," said Long. "(We're trying to bring some more humor to the situation.) There are many crazy people … we make a mockery of it."
He added that the low-end products outperformed any other Christmas items.
Low Lives High Life
A report by the FBI claims that between October 2009 and June 2010 alone, more than $ 85 million was spent in Las Vegas casinos and in "luxury yacht rental, business jet lenders (and on) a London interior designer."
Low, who held no formal position with 1MDB, sticks to his innocence. According to a statement on his website, "he believes he will be confirmed once all the relevant evidence has been presented to a fair and legitimate court."
The US Department of Justice had previously filed civil lawsuits to reclaim goods purchased with stolen money from the 1MDB fund. Officials claimed that funds were being pumped into New York condos, hotels, yachts, and a jet – and used to finance Hollywood movies like The Wolf of Wall Street
. The agency claims $ 4.5 million of 1MDB has been misused by senior officials of the fund.
Najib, who was dropped after a shock election in May for 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, has since been charged with money laundering and charged with misuse of trust and abuse of power. He denies the allegations.
"He's a pretty mysterious character … how he turned into a powerful figure in Malaysia and the fact that he has this other life in the West caught the Malaysians' imagination," he said.
"On one level, people are upset about the stolen money and the lost revenue from Malaysia – at the same time his experiences fascinate him, as he lived in the West between Hollywood celebrities, bankers, and some Malaysia One can even say he is rather astonishing than someone who can slander himself. "
When" Billion Dollar Whale "was first released in September, Long said the book had" cheered the whole country a little and vented on social media. " But when the countdown started at Christmas, he felt ready to take a risk and create the low-commodity to present "the lighter side of Malaysian culture."
The popularity of the collection was also a testament to how Malaysia has changed. In the months since Mahathir took power, Long said.
"If we had that with the previous government in power, we would have so much trouble," he said. "With the new government, people are seeing what is permissible, they're exploring new reasons, and there's a sense of relief for the Malaysians, the feeling of being free after they have imposed strict rules (on us)."
Wright, the journalist, agreed that Malaysian attitudes are changing.
"Mahathir will surely face challenges that clarify corruption – it's broader than Najib and Jho Low (and it will not change overnight," he said.) "But this big corruption scandal is now open and that is good for Malaysia and good for (the rule of law). "