If I could find the Equanimity, why couldn't Malaysian authorities, says Rafidah

Former International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz says the Malaysian authorities must appear inefficient for their inability to locate Jho Low's super yacht, The Equanimity, when she had done so herself last year. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, March 4, 2018.

FORMER cabinet minister Rafidah Aziz said she had found the exact location of Jho Low’s super yacht, the Equanimity, while on a diving trip in Phuket last year.

In a Facebook post today, she asked how the Malaysian authorities could have failed to find the yacht when mere divers like her could find.

“I was reading with much dismay the stories about the mega yacht having been impounded by the Indonesian authorities in Bali. What happened to our own enforcement authorities?

“Did we never bother to actually track and find the yacht? Or are there some more horror scandals yet to be uncovered behind the yacht? Ada udang di sebalik batu (There is a hidden agenda),” she said in the post.

The Equanimity, belonging to Jho Low or Low Taek Jho, who has been linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal, was seized in Bali last Wednesday by Indonesian authorities working with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Low, said to be Prime Minister Najib Razak’s confidante and business adviser, had issued a statement via a spokesman criticising the US Justice Department (DoJ) of “global overreach” after the seizure.

The RM1 billion yacht was alleged to be purchased using funds siphoned from the Malaysian sovereign fund.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said there was no proof that funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd were used to purchase the vessel.

It prompted ridicule from Pakatan Harapan prime minister designate Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who said that the minister seemed to know more than Jho Low about the yacht’s ownership.

“(Salleh) said the yacht did not belong to Jho Low. But Jho Low said it was his. Salleh Keruak knows Jho Low better than Jho Low himself,” Dr Mahathir said yesterday.

The DoJ has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged siphoned funds and has sought to delay civil suits filed in the past two years to forfeit over US$1 billion (RM3.9 billion) in real estate and other assets.

Rafidah, who was the international trade minister in former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet, said the Malaysian government must appear inefficient and “impotent in the eyes of the world out there” for failing to find the famous yacht within the region.

She said she had located The Equanimity using the AIS (automatic identification system) on her instructor’s boat.

“I myself piloted the boat to exactly where The Equanimity was at sea. I personally took photos and videos of the boat at very close range, including its ultra luxurious tender (small boat) at the marina in Phuket later that night.

“We, mere divers, were able to do that. How could our authorities not? With all their gadgetry and supposedly global information network?”

Rafidah also posted three photos of the super yacht and the smaller tender boat.

“Then, someone said there was no proof that the said owner owned the vessel,” she said, referring to Salleh Said Keruak’s remark that there was no evidence that Low owned the yacht.”

Rafidah said people at the marina told her party that the super yacht was anchored offshore while its owner and guests went ashore at night to celebrate Valentine’s Day in town.

The retired minister said Malaysians did not deserved to be shamed in this way, while other countries like the US, Middle East, Switzerland, and Singapore had taken action in relation to the 1MDB scandal.

“People have been jailed, companies fined and barred from operating, properties and assets impounded, and even gifts from ill-gotten gains have been returned by those who do not want to be linked to the infamous yacht owner.

“What other actions do the authorities need to credibly take for the sake of the people and nation? The country must come first,” she said.

Rafidah said it would perhaps take another foreign country to add the finishing pieces to the 1MDB scandal, as some in Malaysia seemed “to be living on a different planet”.

Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani reportedly said the government did not know what would happen to The Equanimity after its seizure, as it was not a property of Malaysia. – March 4, 2018.

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  • Actually the scandals and issues of 1MDB or even Equanimity and the fat boy hung on in general to the Malay race as a whole. Most of them are not interested as compare to the nons and that gives strength to MO1 and his sycophants to have courage to become ridiculously brave to launch all sorts of unbelievable moronic actions to shield themselves from prosecution. Coupled to PAS placing their religious and moraliy in the old cobweb shelves , single or some small vocal rebuke from prominent and ex- leaders will not create a dent less it is a mass and vociferous call by the Malays themselves that they are short changed.

    Posted 6 years ago by Lee Lee · Reply

  • Aiyaa other authorities is only good on prosecuting those from the opposition and maybe as escorts to those vvip,the rest they r allhopeless

    Posted 6 years ago by Leslie Chan · Reply

  • Expose them all you want, fact is those who were raised kurang ajar knows no shame and can be great pretenders.

    Posted 6 years ago by Xuz ZG · Reply

  • Dear Dato' Rafidah Aziz,

    Najib and his hefty consort have a psychosis we term as NPD or narcissistic personality disorder. The people that execute their schemes are called 'Flying Monkeys'. These people are not normal people. They are empty inside and crave external adoration to validate their pity existence. Such people will do anything, i.e. bizarre things, to create drama to feed their sick grandiose egos for a 'fix'. These vain people never apologize and if they do its fake with an ulterior agenda. People with NPD do not give in to reason. You cannot come to a settlement with such people. It's impossible!

    Posted 6 years ago by Arun Paul · Reply

  • A herd of clowns well fed with dedak so they may bark better for their boss.

    Posted 6 years ago by Landy Oz · Reply

  • A herd of clowns well fed with dedak so they may bark better for their boss.

    Posted 6 years ago by Landy Oz · Reply

  • Please join PH and run against this crazy government.

    Posted 6 years ago by Ramli Taro · Reply

  • Looks like our former Umno/BN minister got it wrong on a couple of counts.

    In the first place the Malaysian government had never said it was searching for the obscenely priced yacht and thus the government never found it, unlike Rafidah.

    I believe Rafidah was talking about punitive action when she referred to "the action taken by the US, Switzerland, the Mid-East & Singapore" because so far there's been nothing from the Swiss and also from the Mid-East. The case with IPIC was different & went to arbitration. It was action taking directly by a sovereign nation. Singapore took three bank officers to court and found them guilty of non-disclosure & withholding of info also I think but this was not a result of any direct investigation or action against 1MDB. The press only included the phrase "... believed to be linked to 1MDB" when referring to Jho-Low in relation to the three.

    So the only form of action that has directly implicated some people with 1MDB is the US DoJ's civil suit, which since about July last year has been put on hold since the FBI said it was pursuing a criminal probe. Since Malaysian authorities declare that there hasn't been any wrongdoing, the only way we can hope to know something more is if JL and friends challenge the seizures of various assets.

    It must also be noted that till now JL is not the subject of any warrant of arrest and is free to move around, although I suspect he will not take the risk of going to places like Europe/UK, North America, Australia or Canada -- what people call the western world.

    It's well & good for Malaysians to stand up and be critical of a government they deem to be wrong but I think former members of the administration especially should best keep mum, especially if they once served under an administration that also made many wrong turns and if they were also embroiled in certain controversies.

    When you read about the frustrations by now opposition politicians like TS Muhyiddin and Tun Dr. MM in their dealings with the RoS you sometimes want to tell them that they are now having a taste of their own medicine and should realise how frustrating it was for their comrades in Pakatan who previously had to endure the same frustrations during the Mahathir years as PM.

    Posted 6 years ago by Aziz hassan · Reply

  • Rafidah knows they are not looking, why she is asking why they cannot? Fact is few Malay leader dare say the ugly truths and there are a lot of ugly truth. Najib least of all dare say much of anything. He even got Kuok wrong.

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply