KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): The "fire sale" of luxury superyacht Equanimity, which will be transacted at half of its original price, is a failure that is to be blamed on the Malaysian government, claims fugitive financier Low Taek Jho (Jho Low).
“The predictable failure of the Mahathir government to hold a successful auction of the yacht Equanimity is another example of a Mahathir regime prioritizing illegal acts over the rule of law in a transparent effort to score political points,” an unnamed spokesman of Low said in a statement issued through Low’s attorneys.
“This was a failed public relation (PR) stunt from the outset. By illegally seizing the yacht from Indonesia, where the US government had been willing to cover the substantial cost of the vessel’s upkeep, docking it in a hazardous environment at Port Klang, and then subjecting the vessel to poorly-controlled media and public access, the Malaysian government was responsible for substantially eroding the Equanimity’s value,” the spokesman said.
Equanimity, which was allegedly bought by Low using money stolen from scandal-tainted 1MDB and which now belongs to the Malaysian government, is expected to be sold at a price of no less than US$130 million (RM543 million).
In the statement, the spokesman claims by removing Equanimity from Indonesia, the Malaysian government had ignored court rulings in Indonesia, as well as established legal proceedings in the US, before subsequently announcing it had established a so-called “right to sell” the vessel.
“With so much doubt hanging over its ownership, no sensible, independent third-party buyer is going to purchase a vessel from an unreliable vendor like the Mahathir regime, at anything other than a hugely depressed value.
“Indeed, what now amounts to the doomed fire-sale of the Equanimity is an admission that this political PR stunt by the Mahathir regime has failed, and that these acts by the Malaysian government have been nothing more than political gamesmanship at the cost of the rule of law and the fair administration of justice,” the spokesman added.