28 MARCH 2016
After spending several days in the highlands of Ba’ Kelalan, I emerged to the pleasant news that Clare Rewcastle Brown has made it to the list of Fortune’s top 50 World’s Greatest Leaders, in the company of luminaries such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Angela Merkel, Tom Cook and Pope Francis. This recognition by the esteemed multinational business magazine is timely and fully deserved by Clare, whose work has served to expose the corrupt regimes of the BN government in Sarawak and Malaysia.
Clare's investigative prowess and professionalism are clearly demonstrated in her lengthy exposes, invariably supported by documentary evidence, published in Sarawak Report. Despite repeated threats and harassment, she has tenaciously delved into the highly dubious practices of political leaders in Malaysia, particularly the former Chief Minister of Sarawak, and the current Prime Minister and his brainchild, 1MBD. Her disclosures have led to investigations by the authorities of several countries into their banks’ dealings with 1MDB. The extraordinary events happening in this country would not have come about without Clare’s Sarawak Report.
It is encouraging that the award for Clare comes at a time when the Malaysian media is being subjected to tightening government controls amidst continuing revelations of corruption and cover-ups in government institutions and agencies in Malaysia. Without her persistence and diligence, I am certain that Malaysians and the rest of the world would still be in the dark about the many scandals that plague Malaysia. The target of her investigations may try to discredit Clare’s reports, but this award provides excellent validation of Clare’s work. In contrast, the reverse is true of Najib Razak, whose credibility and reputation have taken a nosedive both locally and internationally.
I wish to add a note of thanks to Clare for her immeasurable contribution to the land of her birth Sarawak, in the form of Radio Free Sarawak. This aspect of her work was not cited in the Fortune award, but it has had an enormous impact on the rural population of Sarawak, which had only been exposed to government-approved news until RFS came into their lives. So effective were her team’s broadcasts that her ‘targets’ are believed to have spent millions of dollars to block the radio frequencies she was using. The rural communities are casting off the shackles of the fear and helplessness that had held them hostage for so long. Political awareness is on the increase in Sarawak, and Sarawakians are beginning to speak up for their rights, and for truth and justice.
Sarawakians and Malaysians owe Clare Rewcastle Brown a huge debt of gratitude. Congratulations to Clare – the honour could not have gone to a more deserving person.
Chairman, PKR Sarawak