There are two ways to “catch” Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low, said Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The first is to “lure” the Penang-born businessperson with beautiful girls.

“Jho Low is protected by big powers. Don’t know how he went missing.

“I suggest to the government, lure him with beautiful girls, who smell nice and with a smiley face, and you can get him,” he told a forum audience tonight.

Mahathir was referring to Low’s oft-publicised “tabloid party boy” lifestyle, with rumours of the wanted businessperson cavorting with a host of celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Miranda Kerr and Elva Hsiao.

The second way to get Low, according to Mahathir, was to first “capture” Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“How do we do that? Make him (Najib) lose in the coming general election.

“Then, when he’s in jail, we can ask him, Mr Najib sir, where is Jho Low?” he said.

Mahathir was speaking at the “Jho Low protected by China?” forum held at the Kuala Lumpur and Chinese Assembly Hall, organised by Amanah Youth’s “Anak Muda Cari Jho Low” (AMCJL) movement.

In his speech, he said it is in the interests of the younger generation that Low is brought to justice.

“It is apt for youths to look for Jho Low, as it is their generation who is going to foot the bill for 1MDB’s RM42 billion debt.

“It is MO1 (Malaysian Official No 1) – don’t know who he is – who along with Jho Low and Riza Aziz tried to launder stolen 1MDB money,” the former prime minister said.

“If you steal RM100 or RM200, there is no need to launder. Just slide it into the pocket, and go to the shop and have a meal.

“When you steal billions, you can’t hide it anywhere, that is why they convert money into material,” he said, alluding to the jewellery, yacht, and other assets which US authorities said was purchased with money allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

Mahathir then reiterated his frequently-cited point of the GST being a way for the government to pay for debt incurred by 1MDB.

“The government says the country cannot run without GST. Back then, we had no GST, but we had money, we had development.

“GST is to enable Najib steal money. During my time, I didn’t know that as the prime minister, one can steal money…I have missed my chance,” he joked.

Najib does not respect the rule of law, Mahathir added, claiming that the current prime minister had all the relevant enforcement agencies, such as the police, MACC and even the attorney-general, under his control.

“Hiding evidence is a crime, but what we saw was the AG (Mohamed Apandi Ali) take three pieces of evidence by Bank Negara Malaysia, MACC and the Public Accounts Committee, and classify it under the Official Secrets Act.

“What the AG doesn’t know is that with the technology nowadays, people can snap pictures (of the documents) and zoom in. The AG is a scoundrel,” he exclaimed.

The Harapan leader – whose name is being mooted by certain quarters as a candidate for shadow prime minister – also took the opportunity to state that his recent implication in the foreign exchange losses suffered by Bank Negara in the 1990s was a way for the Najib administration to get at him.

Amanah Youth chief Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, who also spoke at the forum, called Low the “most wanted criminal in the world.”

Activist Hishamuddin Rais, meanwhile, claimed that the 1MDB scandal gave China a free pass to exert its power in Malaysia, by loaning out money on the pretext of funding infrastructure projects here.

Hishamuddin also insisted that the notion of Jho Low being protected by China was more than a mere hypothesis, and was in fact true.

“If we don’t defeat Najib in the five years, China will run down the country,” he added.