Gunning for PR guy Stadlen


  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Nov 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will work with the Immigration Department to trace Paul Geoffrey Stadlen’s whereabouts.

“We are cooperating with Immi­gration ... I’ll have to discuss with the Immigration director-general later.

“Maybe we’ll cooperate with the police too,” said MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull when asked if Stadlen had been placed on the Immigration blacklist.

He was speaking to reporters after handing over Certified Integrity Officers (CeIOs) to 158 officers with Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar.

Mohd Shukri, however, declined to reveal which aspect of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Stadlen was being sought after for.

The 39-year-old Stadlen was formerly the managing director for the Malaysian office of global PR firm Apco Worldwide.

He is said to have served on the communications team in the Prime Minister’s Office during former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s time.

Stadlen’s name cropped up in 2015, after bloggers and news portals, including Sarawak Report, detailed his lavish lifestyle, which included attending many parties.

His history with the Malaysian government goes as far back as 2009, when the firm won a government contract.

The Apco contract – worth an estimated RM3mil a year – however became mired in controversy when it was revealed that the company also worked for what is known as the “Jewish lobby” in Washington.

Najib’s administration then dropped the contract and Stadlen temporarily moved to work for FBC Media.

In 2011, Sarawak Report reported that FBC Media had won contracts worth RM84mil and RM15mil from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Sarawak government – to promote Najib and then Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and various government projects to UK and US news stations such as BBC, CNBC and CNN.

This was in violation of those countries’ broadcast laws and after the Sarawak Report exposé, the broadcasters’ above axed their contracts with FBC Media.

Stadlen then moved to work directly for the PMO – his office was located just a few doors down the corridor from Najib’s own national communications team’s office, according to Sarawak Report in 2015.

When queried in Parliament in November the same year, the Prime Minister’s Department claimed that Stadlen was not a government employee and, as such, was not paid a salary and allowance by the government.

Then deputy prime minister and home minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also told Parliament in a written reply that Stadlen had permanent resident status in Malaysia and did not require a permit to work in the country.

All this came around the same time that Stadlen said Najib inherited his wealth in a response to a query from the New York Times about Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and his stepson Riza Aziz and what the newspaper described as a “lavish lifestyle”.

The MACC issued a statement yesterday morning that it was looking for Stadlen as a witness for the probe into the scandal-riddled 1MDB.

His last known address was at Unit A-29-8, Blok A, Loft Sentral Condominium, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, KL Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.

Members of the public who have information on Stadlen can contact enforcement officer Zuhaila Arip at 03-8870 0364 or via e-mail at zuhaila@sprm.gov.my or enforcement officer Fahmee Mohd Nor at 03-8870 0419 or via e-mail at mohdfahmee@sprm.gov.my.


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