The Malaysian Reserve

No talks on Jho Low in China, says Dr Mahathir

Dr Mahathir described Low as very “slippery and sneaky”, escaping between countries with multiple passports (Pic by Mohd Amin Naharul/TMR)

BY P PREM KUMAR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Beijing • Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his meetings with Chinese leaders in Beijing did not include any discussion on Low Taek Jho, the Malaysian financier wanted for his role in the multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Low, infamously known as Jho Low, was not part of any discourse despite speculation that the wanted man could be hiding in China.

“I didn’t ask about Low…he may be in China. That’s what the rumours said,” he told reporters in Beijing yesterday.

News reports emerged last week that Malaysia believed Low was being harboured in China and a request to extradite him would be high on Dr Mahathir’s agenda during his five-day trip to the republic.

Dr Mahathir described Low as very “slippery and sneaky”, escaping between countries with multiple pass-ports.

“But now he doesn’t have Equanimity,” said the PM, referring to Low’s luxury yacht which is now under the custody of the Malaysian government as it is believed to be bought using misappropriated funds from 1MDB.

“He can claim it (Equanimity) is his, but please come to Malaysia to put in a claim,” Dr Mahathir added.

Responding to a journalist who asked what he would do if Low showed up and sat next to him, Dr Mahathir said: “I would put handcuffs on him.”

Last Friday, Reuters reported that a spokesman for Low, through his attorneys, said he “believes there is no jurisdiction where he can get a fair hearing in this matter”.

“Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics, and self-interest overrules legal process,” the spokesman said via an email last Friday.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said Tun Daim Zainuddin is still needed to chair the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

“I want him to be there, to do part of my job, to trace the money and investigate some cases,” he said.

Daim said on Monday that as far as he was concerned, the mandate of the CEP expired last Saturday and he would need to discuss his future role with Dr Mahathir.

“I didn’t dismiss him…I want him to continue on the job. In fact, I don’t pay him a single sen to date,” Dr Mahathir added.