Investigating the world’s most expensive residential building—London’s One Hyde Park—Nicholas Shaxson finds its super-rich owners’ absenteeism very telling.

Last September the real-estate company Jones Lang LaSalle estimated that nearly a sixth of all recent buyers of new central-London property were Malaysian—and only 19 percent British. Wealth is currently pouring out of Malaysia ahead of imminent elections, which could see the scandal-ridden ruling coalition ousted for the first time since independence.

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