KUALA LUMPUR: Intense public interest in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue has led to all copies of “Billion Dollar Whale”, a book detailing the scandal, to be sold out here.
Checks at major bookstores in the Klang Valley revealed that all copies of the non-fiction work has been sold out since stocks arrived late last week.
Two bookstores in particular, MPH Bookstore and Borders, saw all copies of the book sold out on the first day there were available on Thursday last week.
A staff of an MPH Bookstore branch here said that public interest on the issue was so high that all 50 copies of the book was snatched up by eager readers on Thursday.
“We brought in 50 copies on Thursday, and all were sold out that day.
“There were walk-in customers who not only bought one, but also bought two or three at a time.
“Perhaps they wanted to give them to others,” he mused when met at the store today.
He pointed out that other MPH outlets also ran out of stock.
He said it might take up to three weeks to get new stocks of the book.
He added that all 50 copies of another write-up on 1MDB, “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”, also sold out at the store last week.
High demand for both 1MDB books were also seen at a Popular Bookstore in Selangor, with all 100 copies of “Billion Dollar Whale” and nearly all 200 copies of “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”, sold out by Saturday last week.
An employee who declined to give his name said that the 100 copies of “Billion Dollar Whale” were brought in on Thursday last week.
“You will not find the book anymore even if you go to other (Popular) branches,” he said.
“There are two copies of The Sarawak Report left here, but that may be because we brought in 200 copies last week,” he said.
Near him on the store’s bookshelf was a sign saying “Billion Dollar Whale” was sold out.
A similar situation was seen in rival bookstore Borders in Selangor, where all 20 copies of “Billion Dollar Whale” sold out on Thursday last week.
A staff there remarked that they were forced to inform walk-in customers and those who telephoned the store that the book was out of stock.
“All copies are gone....20 sold out on the first day itself (Thursday).
“It is a success in terms of sales. So many customers expressed interest in the book. Many called in and tried to reserve the book,” he said.
Checks by NSTP showed that the Borders bookstore only had two copies of “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”.
“Billion Dollar Whale” was written by United States-based news outlet The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.
“The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose” was penned by Claire Rewcastle-Brown, who ran similarly-named investigative portal Sarawak Report.
The website played a major role in first highlighting the 1MDB scandal in 2014, before the issue was taken up by other media houses such as WSJ.