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Four Crazy and/or Rich Asians You've Probably Heard Of

By Say Peng  /  16 Jul 2018 (Monday)

With Crazy Rich Asians to be released in cinemas in less than 2 months, we thought it'd be fun to join the crowd and make our own list of crazy rich Asians.

Rather than the usual list of rich and crazy suspects (i.e., the Instagram-pretty and rich younglings), we thought we'd visit the other side of the rich and crazy in Asia, the dark side...

4. Najib Razak

Najib Razak was until recently the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

His fortunes changed when, early this month, the Wall Street Journal published an expose revealing that US$700 million had been channelled from the state-owned debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to his own personal bank account. 

When Malaysian police raided premises with connections to Najib, they found 12,000 pieces of jewellery; 423 luxury wristwatches from Rolex, Chopard, and Patek Phillippe; 234 luxury sunglasses from Versace and Cartier; 567 luxury handbags from Chanel, Prada, Versace, Hermes. All in all, the police seized US$270 million worth of assets.

Charged in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power, Najib, who denied any wrongdoing, is currently out on bail. 

His trial is slated for February next year. 

3. Rodrigo Duterte

In the whole of Asia, is there a more controversial politician than Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte?

On June 30, 2016, Rodrigo Duterte, the then major of Davao City who was once dubbed "The Punisher" by Time magazine, became the 16th President of the Philippines.

His campaign promise? To kill - literally kill - drug addicts and anyone involved in drugs.

And so far, Duterte is more than keeping his promises. Since his election, more than 20,000 people have been killed execution-style without due process, including innocent children and bystanders. The President's war on drugs is currently being investigated for crimes against humanity by International Criminal Court and for human rights abuses by several human rights organisations. 

Duterte and his son has also been accused of harbouring millions of dollars in secret bank accounts.

Exactly how much, we may probbaly never know for now.

2. Issei Sagawa

While we at InCinemas do not, in any way, condone cannibalism, one cannot help but be intrigued by Issei Sagawa, the notorious Japanese who killed and ate a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt in 1981.

When he was 23 years old, Sagawa almost ate a German woman. Instead, he made off with a small piece of her flesh and was charged for attempted rape. 

When he was 32 years old and doing his PhD in Paris, Sagawa finally took the plunge. He invited his classmate Renée Hartevelt to dinner at his apartment and once she had her back turned, Sagawa shot her. Over the course of two days, he chopped up her body and ate them, saving some of it in the refrigerator. 

After he was caught in the act of disposing Hartevelt's body and arrested, he was detained for two years before being declared insane. Sagawa was subsequently deported back to Japan and, because the neccesarry court papers to convict him was not in order, he was subsequently released.

His unconventional and criminal background has turned Sagawa into a celebrity of sorts. He was frequently invited to guest speak and write, and had been the subjects of numerous documentaries, including one by VICE (above) and one by award-winning documentarians Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor called Caniba

1. Jack Ma

With a net worth of more than US$40 billion, the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, is the richest man in China, and was the richest man in Asia until recently.

And from looks of it, he is also the craziest.

At the 2017 Alibaba annual party, Ma opened his company’s 18th anniversary by arriving onstage on a motorcycle, wearing a mask and outfit that resembles Jackson’s outfit on his Dangerous World tour, before launching into a Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" dance.

I don't think even Steve Jobs can top Ma in terms of dramatic flair.

Who do you think should be on the list of crazy and/or rich Asians? Tell us in the comments!
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