Remember Jho Low? Yes, apart from Paris Hilton, whizz-kid Jho is also very close to Prime Minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor. In fact, the 29-year old Penang boy has just bought a super-luxury penthouse in New York at a sky-high price that has set tongues wagging amongst the property agents there.
Incidentally, the condo is just a 10-minute walk from Rosmah's favourite jewelry retailer Jacob & Co, from whom she has been reported to have bought a RM24.4 million ($8 million) 'natural fancy blue-gray cushion-cut' diamond ring'.
And in case Rosmah, who is not known to be fond of exercise, prefers to be driven, Jacob & Co at 48, East 57th Street is just a 3-minute whizz away by stretch limousine.
Jho is also connected in some way - directly or indirectly - with several very important investment and financial entities.
These include Najib's prized RM15 billion 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the RM10 billion Terengganu Investment Authority, UBG which is the former banking arm of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's family business, as well as the oil-rich Mid-East firm PetroSaudi.
No, this is not a business article to unravel the amount of filth contained within the dealings of this nest of firms. Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said it best when he described 1MDB as Najib's political "slush fund" to prop up Taib and his cronies.
Some in the financial circles even say the complex paper trail that surrounds the firms' inter-dealings would surely provide an ideal way to launder some of the possibly illicit money that may flow through the network.
But back to the immediate story. Just days ago, the New York Post reported that a Malaysian party boy known for spending cash like it's Monopoly money had plunked down $31 million for a plush penthouse in the Time Warner Center - the highest amount ever paid at the luxury site.
A corporation linked to Taek Jho Low - who has "whooped it up with Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox and Paris Hilton" - scored the luxury pad about two weeks ago, sources told NY Post.
Sources involved in the New York deal also confirmed that Low is linked to the entity that purchased the posh pad. A spokesman for Low did not return calls.
So which entity is that? Until Jho himself tells us or the property records formally show, no one will know. However, it is likely to be an entity that falls within that nest of firms that Jho is most known to be connected with.
At more than $6,400 a square foot, New Yorkers are still gawking at the price thrown for the condominium. It is the most anyone has ever paid for a unit at 25 Columbus Circle. The unit in question also has a glamorous background - megastar rapper Jay-Z once lived there.
NY Post reported that a "bevy of beautiful Asian women trailed by American men in suits" toured the glamorous 76th-floor condo several times during the negotiations. Low himself toured the property two years ago, when it was first quietly put on the market.
The 4,825-square-foot condo was owned by Todd Wagner, who co-founded Broadcast.com with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Wagner bought the pad for $27 million in 2007 from real-estate investor Michael Hirtenstein, who had rented the apartment to Jay-Z.
Propensity to spend
And this isn't even Low's first Manhattan trophy property. According to NY Post, last year, Low paid a whopping $33 million for a penthouse once owned by Donald Trump at 1 Central Park West.
Nine months after Low bought the condo, he sold it for $30 million -- a stunning $3 million loss.
Before he bought the Central Park West pad, Low was paying $100,000 a month at the Park Imperial, on West 56th Street.
Low was also spending $50,000 a month for members of his entourage to live in other apartments
At the same time, he was throwing away more than $100,000 some nights at city hot spots.
After Low's high-spending ways made headlines, he sank under the radar - until recently.
Along with being spotted in nightclubs, Low has also told members of New York's jet set that he will be in St Tropez to party and spend oodles of money.
Raising prices to replenish the coffers
Tales of such fabulous wealth are hard for everyday Malaysians to grasp.
But so much of money has been lost through corruption - RM888 billion since 2000 - it is not so difficult to see how the "right set" think nothing of throwing $100,000 a night just to party. To them, it may not even be a very large amount at all. Perhaps, only just bearable!
Sarawak Reporthas also revealed a stunner. Another fabulously rich Malaysian splurged RM14.5 billion on a super-yacht with gold-decorated and platinum-lined walls. RM14.5 billion just for a sea-picnic! Exactly, who is this guy? It would really be interesting to know.
Meanwhile, it is no wonder that Najib's government has predicted bankruptcy for the country by 2019.
Think about it, if the ruling elite are not allowed to raise the prices of consumer essentials, how can they replenish their coffers at the rate they are gobbling up luxury condos and super-yachts?