IN the opening column, I mentioned about the jet-setting ghost seekers of the Malay Archipelago. It seems that in the process of seeking out the most powerful ghosts and the most divine kiai, some go-betweens became fabulously wealthy.
This calm and compose US$250-million super yatch was bought with the stolen and laundered money of the MO1-inspired 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).But let us leave them in peace in their heavenly kingdoms and talk about the more earthly things like the detention in Indonesia of the luxury abode of the global schemer Mr Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low that goes by the name Equanimity – meaning calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation.
MO1, as the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communication Director, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, had owned up to the BBC in a September 1, 2016 interview was none other than the Malaysian Prime Minister, (Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.
The whole world knows that the vessel belongs to Jho Low except the Barisan Nasional trumpeter, Salleh Said Keruak, who said there was no proof that the yatch belongs to Jho Low when the latter himself had issued a statement condemning the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for detaining his floating palace.
An Indonesian mystic (Niels Mulder}
I would not venture to suggest that Salleh and Abdul Rahman or, for that matter, any other member of Najib’s cabinbet were high on ketum or ice.
That’s because unlike the padi farmers who, in the old days, chewed ketum (Mitragyna speciosa) shoots to gain extra energy for the hard work ahead, Najib’s ministers are perpetually energetic and high-spirited when it comes to defending him.
Some say dedak – and lots of it – is enough to keep them energetic, high-spirited and, don’t forget, loyal. Maybe the Majlis Profesor Negara (National Ptofessors Council) should propose a scientific study to determine the effects of dedak consumption on humans.
The farmer in me tells me that dedak consumption cannot be good for humans. Even those who are not from the farming background would know from the warning on dedak bags that it is not for human consumption.
Of course there are other causes like the usage of heroine, morphine, marijuana and designers’ drugs. Please remember the slogan “Dadah Musuh Negara” (drug is the enemy of the country) and stay away from drugs.
Jho Low’s oceanic abode of calmness and composure was detained in a sting operation by the Indonesian Police with the assistance of the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 28 off the holiday island of Bali.
Indonesian Police and FBI officers on board Jho Low’s abode
It wasn’t clear if Jho Low was on the boat or anywhere near it. So far there hasn’t been any news on what it carries. But with Jho Low literally spending his life on it, we can safely assume that it carries whatever things that he needs to lead the life of a modern day pirate.
The question being asked by many is why did the yatch venture so deep into the Indonesian territory and so far away from the international waters?
There had been reports that the vessel was skirting the Malaysian, Indonesian Filipino and Thai waters for months. It had been spotted in the Indonesian and Thai territories but never very far away from international waters.
So why did the vessel ventured so deep into Indonesian waters where it had no chance of escaping into the international water? Was Jho Low on it and what was its mission?
Could Jho Low, his family and his benefactor have been lured in a sting operation with the promise of safety to gather on the mythical island to celebrate the Chinese New Year?
Incidentally, at around the time the vessel was detained, we also heard the news that Felda had suffered a massive unrealised loss from the purchase of a 37-per cent state in the Indonesian plantation company, Eagle High Tbk.
Despite protests and warnings Felda, whose manTHOR is Najib, bought the plantation from his good friend, the Indonesian Chinese billionaire, (Honorary Tan Sri) Peter Sondakh.
It was reported that Felda paid US$505.4 million (about RM2.24 billion) for the stake – valuing the company’s shares at almost 100 per cent premium. Felda paid approximately IDR 580 per share. Yesterday (March 5) the price of Eagle High on the Indonesian Stock Market was IDR 228.
Sondakh’s good fortune is Felda’s misfortune. For paying a massive premium it is reported to have incurred a paper loss of US$300 million (RM1.2 billion).
One man’s loss is another man’s gain, and in the world of money laundering and cross border transfer, stock and shares provide a convenient vehicle.
Remember the famous non-existent “units” that 1MDB was supposed to have invested in?