Battersea Power Station under investigation for “dubious” investments

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak (pictured below sharing a joke with David Cameron and Boris Johnson)  has been charged with corruption over a ‘£3.4bn fraud.’

Caption Competition: Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak, Boris Johnson and David Cameron

The purchase of Battersea Power Station, the biggest property deal in the UK, is under threat after Anwar Ibrahim, the new leader of Malaysia’s governing coalition said it would be investigated as part of “dubious” investments made by the previous administration.

The Guardian reported:

“Anwar Ibrahim’s comments will raise questions about the British government’s commitment to fighting corruption. He said the money trail of the 1MDB fraud ran through London, with $1.83bn of Malaysia’s cash funnelled into a Saudi-British company.

“There was no attempt by British authorities to investigate. But this was a crime using sovereign wealth funds for reckless spending sprees.” he said.

“I say to Britain: you talk about transparency and anti-corruption drives, now is the time for action. I am saying now allow the institutions to conduct investigations fairly and give the necessary cooperation.”

Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader spent nine years in prison on charges which have been confirmed as trumped up and politically driven.

We ask how does this impact on the future of the building? The signs are not good. Despite being festooned with cranes there does not seem to be much going on at the site, just the continuation of the demolition by stealth. The east and west walls of iconic art deco brick work have gone. The London luxury property market has effectively collapsed. Many key individuals, including long time CEO Robert Tincknell, have left the Battersea Power Station Development Company (did they jump or were they pushed?).

Are we going to be left, as predicted, with a useless and worthless ruin surrounded by hideous and empty flats that no one wants to buy? Will the poor workers of Malaysia ever see their money back?

You can read more about Battersea Power Station on our blog and watch our film Selling an Icon here:

 

Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon from Spectacle Media on Vimeo.

‘Battersea Power Station: Selling an Icon’ tells the story of Battersea Power Station from its prominence as a site of industrial power through the years of dereliction, speculation and planning blight to the replacement of the chimneys under the current scheme – a key example of developer-led preservation. In an age of aggressive ‘big business’ redevelopment, the film gives voice to the local communities who are rarely consulted and often overlooked.

Filmed over 15 years, Spectacle’s new documentary follows the grassroots campaigns of Battersea Power Station Community Group to preserve the building for the public good. It takes us straight to the heart of the current conservation debate about whether – and how – historic buildings should be preserved, governed, modified or replaced, and ‘who’ they belong to.

Also available to purchase on DVD. For institutional buyers and public screenings, please contact us at distribution@spectacle.co.uk.

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Weeklies Snubbed for Event on Patch

Author: Helen Lambourne, July 9, 2013

Reporters from two weekly newspapers were refused entry to an event attended by Prime Minister David Cameron which was attended by the Press Association and international titles. The Wandsworth Guardian and rival weekly South London Press did not receive invitations to a ground-breaking ceremony at Battersea Power Station last Thursday and were not allowed entry when their reporters attended.

The event, which was also attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and London mayor Boris Johnson, was held to mark the start of work at the 39-acre site, including the creation of 3,500 luxury new homes and leisure developments, and was organised by the Battersea Power Station Development Company.

Jamie Henderson – Chief Reporter at Wandsworth Guardian said “it was disappointing not to be allowed entry because the paper had reported on the future of the site for many years. We thought an invitation would come from them. I thought I would go down anyway to see what was happening.

“We knew there would be protesters there because we found out about the arrival of David Cameron. Their press officer eventually came out and I thought they would let us in but they told us the press area was full.”

“It is pretty galling really that we have not only given this much support to the project but local people want to know through our newspaper what is going on. The reports in the nationals didn’t report on anything to do with the local area. There was nothing about Wandsworth or the people  who are hopefully going to get jobs.”

The Wandsworth Guardian has won the support of a number of Local Councillors and the Public and Commercial Services Union which was protesting at the event.

Cathy Cook, London Campaign Manager for PCS, told the paper:
“At a time when the country is in economic crisis the Prime Minister prioritising a meeting about luxury penthouse flats is a disgrace.”
“What we think is even more of a disgrace is that the local press were denied access to this meeting today. The local press has a major interest in what is going in its locality and its readership will be interested to know that their journalist was not allowed in.”
Having not being allowed access South London Press reporter James Cracknell the day before the event tweeted: “So, a big-name VIP is going to be at Battersea Power Station tomorrow for a ground-breaking ceremony. But I’m not allowed to say who. I’ve also been banned from attending because the South London Press doesn’t qualify as important media.”

On the day of the ceremony, he tweeted: “I was escorted off the premises of Battersea Power Station this morning by a security guard the size of a house. Oh dear.”

The Battersea Power Station Development Company declined to comment.

 

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