Bloomberg Under Investigation Over Scandalous Malaysia Casino Exposé


In the tropical nation of Malaysia, a tense investigation is unraveling involving an internationally renowned finance news outlet, Bloomberg, the country’s Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and two of the region’s wealthiest gaming magnates. The scenario playing out centers on a media exposition which suggested Prime Minister Ibrahim held clandestine meetings with two prominent figures in the gaming industry, potentially discussing future developments of a sprawling casino resort in Johor’s enigmatic, Forest City.

While in America, the concept of “fake news” triggers bitter public debates about truth and motivation, in Malaysia it can potentially land one behind bars. The Royal Malaysia Police Inspector-General, Razarudin Husain, has cleared the path for a full-blown criminal investigation regarding the origins of the controversial Bloomberg news piece.

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Adding to the intrigue, Bloomberg journalist, Ram Anand, one part of the trio who penned the exposé, was spotted entering Malaysia’s Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Encountered at an early 8:30 a.m. local time on a Monday, he was later seen exiting the station roughly two and a half hours later. The journalist’s visit was a result of a request to submit a statement to the police regarding the information sources that informed their contentious article.

Shrouded in controversy, Prime Minister Anwar and the two billionaire gaming tycoons outed in the Bloomberg report, Genting Group Chairman Lim Kok Thay and Berjaya Corporation Chairman Vincent Tan, resoundingly denied the existence of any plans for a casino project in Forest City.

After publicly refuting the unfurling scandal, Prime Minister Anwar urged Lim and Tan to legally challenge Bloomberg. Consequently, reports suggest the Berjaya Corporation followed the advice, logging a grievance with Malaysian law enforcement agents under the nation’s stringent 1998 Communications and Multimedia Act.

Inspector-general Razarudin proclaimed to Free Malaysia Today that the complaint against Bloomberg was submitted due to allegations that their report contained false, unwarranted, and deceitful information. In response, Bloomberg published an ensuing article from Singapore-based journalist, Marcus Wright, elucidating the denials from the Malaysian prime minister and the two multi-billionaires.

In the initial exposé, journalist Ram referenced his sources as people familiar with the matter, asserting that the discussions about a casino in Forest City, a $100 billion high-end mixed-use development which remains largely uninhabited, were preliminary and the voracity of Anwar’s interest remained indistinct.

At present, the exclusive owners and operators of Malaysia’s singular casino, Resorts World Genting, located in the Pahang Highlands, is the Genting Group. The conglomerate is also responsible for operating Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, only a stone’s throw away from Forest City.

Berjaya Corporation, as one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates, is also implicated by Bloomberg. The mega-corporation boasts an impressive front in the gaming industry, possessing exclusive lottery rights within the nation.

Should any reportage be proven false under Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Act, the legal enforcers can impose a small financial penalty on the journalism cables guilty of scheming fake news. However, the penal weight increases substantially if any individual knowingly gives false statements to police about their reporting or sources, drawing up to six months imprisonment. Currently, all eyes are affixed on Bloomberg, their journalist Ram Anand, and the unraveling scandal as these exposés undoubtedly can have high stakes for the journalists and individuals they implicate.