The 1MDB saga has gripped the minds of the nation, sparked numerous lawsuits worldwide, and now, has spawned a board game.
Named “Kleptopoly” – which took inspiration from the popular real estate board game “Monopoly” – the game allows players to acquire luxury properties and assets including the Park Lane Hotel and Park Laurel condo in New York City, Fleet Street townhouses, mansions in Beverly Hills and even a superyacht called “Equanimity”.
If some of these properties sound familiar, it is because they were named in the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil forfeiture suit on 1MDB-linked assets.
Aizat Shamsuddin, who works for watchdog group Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) which developed the game, said the game is meant to both entertain and educate.
“Through the board game, we wanted to let players experience how the properties were purchased.
“For example, ‘Cayman Islands’ is one of the best to purchase (in the game) because you can offer it to other players to hide their ‘corrupt’ properties there.
“It also means you are immune from having to declare your assets, as you are offshore,” he said, adding that C4 had commissioned the game as part of its campaign to pressure elected representatives to declare their assets.
Raja Bomoh cards included
Another feature of the game is its “Raja Bomoh” cards.
“The Raja Bomoh card is inspired by Ibrahim Mat Zin, who is very famous in Malaysia. We used this card to determine your fate in the game.
“One of the cards gives you profits from the box office movie ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ worth 10 million (in Kleptopoly currency) while another is a ‘whistleblower’ card where you can whistleblow on another player who you suspect has ‘corrupt’ assets.
“If guessed correctly, the player will have to forfeit their assets,” added Aizat.
As part of the game, players found with “corrupt” assets can also be sent to “jail” by the “Anti-Corruption Agency”.
To win Kleptopoly, not only will players need to collect the most properties (and thus be the “richest”) but also remain the most “clean”.
“Even if you don’t win but manage to remain clean, there is nothing to be worried about.
“Our message is that it is nothing wrong to be wealthy, even super-rich, as long as your gains from the wealth is clean and not from misappropriated funds.
“(And with the whistleblower cards) we wanted to send a message to people saying you must speak out against corruption,” explained Aizat.
Each session would require between two to four players, who will manoeuvre four miniature characters across the board.
Sets with hand-sculpted characters will be sold for RM100, limited to 100 sets. Regular sets with cardboard characters cost RM55.
Kleptopoly will be available for pre-order on C4’s Facebook page beginning tomorrow.
C4 will be organising Kleptopoly tournaments throughout November.