By MARK RAO / Pic By BLOOMBERG
TRX City Sdn Bhd said the alleged link between its secretarial and compliance director Goh Gaik Kim and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low (picture) is baseless and false.
This response comes after The Edge last month reported that Gaik Kim is the younger sister of Jho Low’s mother, Evelyn Goh Gaik Ewe, according to sources who spoke to the business daily.
“TRX City wishes to state the news reports and social media postings on Gaik Kim’s alleged link to Jho Low is baseless and false,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
“The Ministry of Finance, which had sought verification from the National Registration Department, has confirmed that Gaik Kim is not related to Jho Low’s mother Gaik Ewe.”
The company said it regrets that the “unsubstantiated” and “irresponsible” reporting led to further speculations and subsequent harassment of the individual.
Since the familial link allegations rose last month, Gaik Kim is reported to have fallen victim to numerous threats and baseless accusations.
The article noted Gaik Kim has reportedly been TRX City’s secretarial and compliance director since March 2011, as well as company secretary for parent company 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), before leaving 1MDB in April 2016, to be replaced by Chen Kai Hong.
Jho Low, a key 1MDB suspect and believed to be the orchestrator behind numerous dubious deals involving the state investment fund, has issued a statement through his US-based attorney denying his ties to Gaik Kim.
This was in response to Gaik Kim’s name being brought up during Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s ongoing graft trial for the alleged laundering of RM42 million in funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd — a former 1MDB unit.
During cross-examination with former SRC International director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh asked the witness if he was aware that one of the company’s secretaries, namely Gaik Kim, is the sister of Jho Low’s mother.
“There is no family relationship between Jho Low or any of his family members with the above-mentioned Gaik Kim. It is disappointing that the counsel has endeavoured to falsely implicate Jho Low’s family,” Jho Low’s spokesperson said in a statement.
TRX City, formerly 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd, is the master developer of the 28.33ha Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) mixed development — a project estimated to be worth some RM40 billion in gross development value.
1MDB had raised US$3 billion (RM12.42 billion) through bond issuances to develop the extensive project, but the funds were allegedly diverted to Jho Low’s personal banking accounts.
The TRX project was first launched back in 2012 under the leadership of former Prime Minister Najib, who is now facing 42 charges related to SRC International and 1MDB.