FINDING wanted businessman Low Taek Jho might be like looking for a “needle in a haystack” but the government is confident of finding and bringing him to justice, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“We can’t locate him (or now), but we will find him. There are only seven billion people in the world, so it’s not very difficult.
“He (Low) will be the needle and we will look in the haystack,” he said today.
The Kuala Lumpur magistrates’ court issued arrest warrants last month for the businessman and four others for criminal charges in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.
Low, better known as Jho Low, is wanted for various other offences linked to 1MDB.
Low has maintained his innocence through statements issued by his lawyers, or public relations firm.
Dr Mahathir also dismissed Low’s claims that bringing him back to face charges is politically motivated.
“He’s said that many times. He’s also politically motivated to steal money,” said Dr Mahathir.
Low had criticised the Wall Street Journal report alleging China offered to bail out 1MDB as being part of a “politically motivated” campaign to smear his name.
“The Wall Street Journal’s latest story is simply a continuation of the Mahathir regime’s trial by media,” Low said in a statement issued by his legal advisers.
Show us documents to prove China’s bailout of 1MDB, says Dr Mahathir
PUTRAJAYA wants to see the documents relating to allegations that China got projects in Malaysia to bail out financially troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd before making any statements, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister said that the government had not received any or seen any documents, if there were any.
“This is a statement made by someone in the media. There are documents, I suppose. But (the question is) whether we can get the documents and they can be shown to us.
“Only then can we accept the statement made. Until then, we cannot take action. We need to find and look at the documents to prove that this actually happened,” he said after a special cabinet meeting on anti-corruption in Putrajaya today.
Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese firms were awarded the contracts to build, among others, the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link and a RM4 billion gas pipeline, in return for bailing out the Malaysian state investment fund.
The projects were billed above their market value, it said, with the extra cash going to pay 1MDB’s debts.
The paper had said it had sighted documents on the subject provided by its sources.
Dr Mahathir said that at the moment all they had were allegations in a media story.
On Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur dismissed as “baseless” allegations that China worked out secret deals with 1MDB in exchange for construction contracts.
The embassy denied such deals existed, saying China maintained a policy of non-interference in the affairs of another country.
“China never attaches political conditions to our cooperation with other countries,” it said in a statement.
Dr Mahathir said that China is entitled to say what it likes as the Chinese are perturbed by the statment.
“We are alright with their comments,” he said.
China had also said they remained committed to working with the new government under Dr Mahathir to improve bilateral relations.
Former prime minister Najib Razak also denied the Wall Street Journal’s claims, saying on Facebook that the Chinese “bailout” for 1MDB clearly did not happen.
He said that it was widely reported, including by the Wall Street Journal itself, that Malaysia signed a settlement agreement to return all missing funds to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company by December 31, 2020.